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HHS Suffers Cyber Attack Amid COVID-19 Response

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The Department of Health and Human Services experienced a cyber attack as part of a disinformation campaign that seeks to disrupt response to the coronavirus pandemic, Bloomberg reported Monday.

John Ullyot, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said in a statement the federal government is conducting a thorough investigation of the cyber incident. “HHS and federal government cybersecurity professionals are continuously monitoring and taking appropriate actions to secure our federal networks,” he added.

The NSC posted a tweet Sunday warning citizens about fake text messages on a national quarantine in response to COVID-19. People familiar with the matter said the disinformation was linked to the HHS cyber attack, which overloaded the department’s servers and may be caused by a foreign state actor.

“On Sunday, we became aware of a significant increase in activity on HHS cyber infrastructure and are fully operational as we actively investigate the matter,” Caitlin Oakley, a spokeswoman for HHS, said in a statement.