Alaska health department website targeted in cyberattack

Alaska health department website targeted in cyberattack
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Alaska's health department on Tuesday reported a malware attack that disrupted its website's services.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services' (DHSS) website was taken offline on Monday evening and remained unavailable on Tuesday evening due to the cyberattack.

“At this time, there are no details about who initiated the attack, why they targeted DHSS, whether this attack is related to any other recent attacks, or how long the website may be down,” the state health department wrote in news release.

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It also stated that it is “expected to take some time to fully understand the full scope and impact of the incident.”

The website is set to remain unavailable while investigators determine if confidential or personal information was compromised, according to the release.

Due to the cyberattack, a range of online services including the DHSS background check system, Alaska's Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse Management System, and a service helping residents locate childcare were unavailable as of Monday.

This is not the first time the state has faced a cyberattack. Earlier this month, The Alaska Court System temporarily disconnected its online servers following a cyberattack that installed malware on its systems and disrupted virtual court hearings. 

“Unfortunately, this type of malicious attack is part of the cost of conducting any kind of business online as there are constant threats from people worldwide trying to infiltrate IT systems,” DHSS Commissioner Adam Crum said in the news release. “I want to assure Alaskans that our department is doing everything possible to get our website back up and running safely and to understand the scope of the attack, its impacts, and how to prevent this from happening in the future.”