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REPORT: HHS Computer System Hit With A Cyber Attack From A Potential Foreign Actor

Chris White on March 16, 2020

Hackers seized upon a U.S. Health and Human Services Department computer system Sunday during the government’s public response to the coronavirus outbreak, Bloomberg reported Monday.

The cyber attack was designed to slow down the U.S. response and toss a wrench into the gears of the HHS’s computer system, Bloomberg noted, citing three sources who requested commenting anonymously to discuss something that was not yet public.

The National Security Council’s Sunday tweet warning people that “Text message rumors of a national #quarantine are FAKE. There is no national lockdown” was in part a result of the attack, the sources explained. 

Whoever or whatever was responsible for the hack did not scrape any data from the systems, one of the sources said. HHS officials assume a hostile foreign actor is behind the caper, though they do not have any conclusive evidence supporting that conclusion, Bloomberg reported.

Neither the White House nor the NSC have responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

The reported hack comes amid reports that an email outage inside the HHS secretary’s office reportedly bungled the Trump administration’s coronavirus messaging and created turmoil inside the office.

An email outage inside the Health and Human Services secretary’s office reportedly bungled the Trump administration’s response to coronavirus and created internal turmoil inside the office.

Some email messages inside the office were delayed up to 11 hours, effectively slowing President Donald Trump’s response to the virus, which has negatively impacted the global economy and created uncertainty, Politico reported in a Tuesday exclusive.

Both the reported hack and the outage came as critics continue to pile on Trump’s handling of the virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Americans in February to prepare for the “expectation that this might be bad,” with Italy emerging as the focal point of the virus in Europe, while Iran and China seeks ways of fighting the spread as confirmed cases grow.

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