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Cyberattack strikes state’s health department

The Department of Health in Maryland was hit with a cyberattack shortly after the state announced multiple cases of the coronavirus variant Omicron, in what the governor has called an “evolving situation.”

“This is a rapidly evolving situation, and we will continue to keep Marylanders updated as new information becomes available,” Governor Larry Hogan told The Hill about the attack. 

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Not many specifics are known about the attack, but the Maryland Security Operations Center said they are investigating the incident, which involves Maryland’s Department of Health, Department of Information Technology and Department of Emergency Management.

“Certain systems have been taken offline out of an abundance of caution,” a state spokesperson said. 

News of the attack came after the state added itself to the growing list of US locations that have reported cases of Omicron, with Maryland announcing three cases of the new Covid variant last week.  

The Maryland Department of Health website redirects users to the more generic state website, as of Monday morning. Numerous other health-related websites have also been taken down following the weekend attack, including a site for people in Maryland to apply to Medicaid and another on nursing-home safety. 

Health officials have posted on social media to urge the state to get its services and resources back up and running. 

Someone from @MDHealthDept, please fix your website. Most pages are not working, including the page that lets people enroll in Medicaid.https://t.co/NEZMskFtwy

— Ankit Gupta (@gankit) December 5, 2021

The state has not updated its Covid numbers due to what they have referred to on Monday as a “server outage.” 

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