‘Network security incident’ takes Maryland Health Department website offline – WBAL Baltimore

‘network-security-incident’-takes-maryland-health-department-website-offline-–-wbal-baltimore

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The state has a mystery on its hands as it tries to get to the bottom of a network security incident at the Maryland Department of Health. The MDH website was taken offline Sunday due to a "network security incident."There are lots of questions and few answers on just what happened. Joe Carrigan, of Johns Hopkins University Information Security Institute, told 11 News people who have entered any information about themselves on the site should follow the developments closely."The malicious actor that has targeted them envisioned that they had a lot of data," Carrigan said. "With a lot of these breaches now, there's people who go after information and the last step in the breach is they encrypt the information and demand a ransom."Andy Owen, a spokesman for MDH, sent a statement to 11 News, saying: "The Maryland Security Operations Center is investigating a network security incident involving the Maryland Department of Health. The Maryland Department of Information Technology, the Maryland Department of Health and the Maryland Department of Emergency Management are working closely with federal and state law enforcement partners to address the incident and to gather additional information. Certain systems have been taken offline out of an abundance of caution and other precautions have and will be taken."The investigation is ongoing, potentially affected employees and partners have been informed, and we will provide additional information as circumstances warrant.""Probably right now, what they're doing is forensics. looking at what is going on, seeing if they can identify where any malicious software is, how people gained entry and what if any data was taken," Carrigan said.The MDH website is where people can book appointments to get tested for COVID-19, to get their COVID-19 vaccine and to access more information and resources. As of Sunday evening, the department's website redirected to the state's main website.So, what does that mean if you've entered personal information on the MDH website?"If you're concerned and have given the department of health any information, you should definitely be following the story and paying attention," Carrigan said.WBAL-TV 11 News has learned that some MDH employees have been told not to use their state-issued email, laptops or work phones.MDH did not give specifics on who exactly is affected, including potentially any patients. Earlier Sunday, 11 News staff noticed the daily COVID-19 numbers weren't updating. Instead, the site states, "The department is experiencing a server outage. Data will be updated as soon as possible."On Monday afternoon, the MDH tweeted: "As part of the ongoing investigation into the network security incident that occurred, the Maryland Department of Health's servers will remain offline out of an abundance of caution. Data updates will resume as soon as possible."MDH said potentially affected employees and partners have been informed.The outage comes after three cases of the omicron variant were reported Friday in Maryland.The outage was first reported Sunday evening by The Washington Post.

BALTIMORE —

The state has a mystery on its hands as it tries to get to the bottom of a network security incident at the Maryland Department of Health. The MDH website was taken offline Sunday due to a "network security incident."

There are lots of questions and few answers on just what happened. Joe Carrigan, of Johns Hopkins University Information Security Institute, told 11 News people who have entered any information about themselves on the site should follow the developments closely.

"The malicious actor that has targeted them envisioned that they had a lot of data," Carrigan said. "With a lot of these breaches now, there's people who go after information and the last step in the breach is they encrypt the information and demand a ransom."

Andy Owen, a spokesman for MDH, sent a statement to 11 News, saying: "The Maryland Security Operations Center is investigating a network security incident involving the Maryland Department of Health. The Maryland Department of Information Technology, the Maryland Department of Health and the Maryland Department of Emergency Management are working closely with federal and state law enforcement partners to address the incident and to gather additional information. Certain systems have been taken offline out of an abundance of caution and other precautions have and will be taken.

"The investigation is ongoing, potentially affected employees and partners have been informed, and we will provide additional information as circumstances warrant."

"Probably right now, what they're doing is forensics. looking at what is going on, seeing if they can identify where any malicious software is, how people gained entry and what if any data was taken," Carrigan said.

The MDH website is where people can book appointments to get tested for COVID-19, to get their COVID-19 vaccine and to access more information and resources. As of Sunday evening, the department's website redirected to the state's main website.

So, what does that mean if you've entered personal information on the MDH website?

"If you're concerned and have given the department of health any information, you should definitely be following the story and paying attention," Carrigan said.

WBAL-TV 11 News has learned that some MDH employees have been told not to use their state-issued email, laptops or work phones.

MDH did not give specifics on who exactly is affected, including potentially any patients.

Earlier Sunday, 11 News staff noticed the daily COVID-19 numbers weren't updating. Instead, the site states, "The department is experiencing a server outage. Data will be updated as soon as possible."

On Monday afternoon, the MDH tweeted: "As part of the ongoing investigation into the network security incident that occurred, the Maryland Department of Health's servers will remain offline out of an abundance of caution. Data updates will resume as soon as possible."

MDH said potentially affected employees and partners have been informed.

The outage comes after three cases of the omicron variant were reported Friday in Maryland.

The outage was first reported Sunday evening by The Washington Post.

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