Just recently, the United States Department of Health and Human Services which was considered as a key part when it comes to the federal response towards the rapid-spreading coronavirus outbreak, was just hit by a “cyber incident” according to officials.

Cyber Hackers Attack US Health Department Amid Coronavirus: How Bad is It?

(Photo : Screenshot From U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Facebook Page)
HHS

The HHS Secretary by the name of Alex Azar addressed the public by saying that there was no breach in data. Backing up his statement, National Security Council spokesman by the name of John Ullyot also gave his assurance that everything in the HHS network is functioning normally at this time.

Officials are still under investigation

The current officials are still investigating if there was any damage done and if there was, how severe could it be. The United States Department of Health and Human Services considered the attack a “cyber incident” which does not give much information about the damage done due to this attack.

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According to the department’s spokeswoman Caitlin Oakley, there was a “significant increase in activity on HHS cyber infrastructure” but she followed her statement by assuring the public that the HHS was still “fully operational”

Information was given by unnamed sources

Ullyot and Oakley did not give additional details as to the nature of this problem and there are currently no reliable sources to further explain what damage this attack has done. According to Bloomberg News, there were unnamed sources saying that there were already multiple hacking incidents in an attempt to slow the department’s systems.

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This is quite alarming especially when the coronavirus or Covid-19 is on the loose and the department is focusing its time and effort in countering the problem. The attack, according to unnamed sources, was a way of slowing down the progress of the department’s system to also slow down the progress in the fight against the Covid-19.

The situation was described on Twitter

According to a Bloomberg reporter who shared his perspective on Twitter, the whole incident involved “overloading the HHS servers with millions of hits” which was an reference towards the denial-of-service wherein a fire hose of digital traffic is somehow directed towards the website in an attempt to knock it offline.

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These incidents are actually common and rarely succeed in bringing down the actual government sites. The department’s website did not sustain any damage and was still functional despite this cyber-attack.

Bloomberg relates this to a statement by the National Security Council

Bloomberg has decided to tie this incident to a statement released by the National Security Council which was released just before midnight which denied rumors of a possible national quarantine which then announced that the text messages circulating were fake. “There is no national lockdown” was the official statement from Twitter suggesting that the circulating texts were a hoax.

According to Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Americans “should expect an increase in cyberattacks and stay vigilant” because of how the nation has become absorbed in the fight against the deadly coronavirus.

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