Data Breach News

Florida Department Of Health Confirms Temporary Outages

Despite these disruptions, the department reassured the public that the majority of its systems and services remain fully operational.

by Samiksha Jain July 4, 2024

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The Florida Department of Health, the first accredited public health system in the United States, has responded to a query by The Cyber Express regarding claims of a ransomware attack by the notorious RansomHub group.

Reports initially suggested that the Florida Department of Health had fallen victim to a significant ransomware attack, potentially compromising critical systems and sensitive data.

Florida Department of Health Official Response

In an official statement to The Cyber Express, the Florida Department of Health acknowledged the occurrence of temporary outages within their online Vital Statistics system, which is believed to be linked to a potential cyber incident.

The statement read, “The Florida Department of Health (Department) can confirm that there have been temporary outages of the online Vital Statistics system following a potential cyber incident. As is standard practice, the Department is coordinating with law enforcement and all relevant stakeholders.”

Despite these disruptions, the department reassured the public that the majority of its systems and services remain fully operational.

“Any effected parties will be notified as a comprehensive assessment of the situation is completed. The majority of Department systems and services remain operational with no disruptions.” the statement shared with The Cyber Express team further noted.

However, the department has not disclosed any further details in regards to the Florida Department of Health cyberattack, the attacker group, or the extent of the data breach. This lack of specific information leaves many questions unanswered about the potential impact on the department’s data and operations.

RansomHub Group’s Claims

The initial reports, which emerged two days ago, claimed that the RansomHub group had accessed a staggering 100 GB of data from the Florida Department of Health. The group reportedly threatened to publish this stolen information within the next three to four days, escalating concerns about the potential repercussions of the breach.

In a parallel development, the RansomHub group also claimed responsibility for targeting NTT DATA, a global leader in business and technology services. According to the group’s statements, they have accessed 230 GB of data from the Romanian division of NTT DATA and plan to release it within the same three to four-day timeframe.

As of now, NTT DATA has not confirmed these claims nor responded to inquiries by The Cyber Express. The lack of confirmation from NTT DATA adds another layer of uncertainty to the situation, as the potential exposure of such a significant volume of data could have widespread implications.

Public Health Organizations as Prime Targets

The Florida Department of Health’s response highlights the ongoing challenges that public health organizations face in safeguarding their digital infrastructure against increasing cyber threats. Public health systems, in particular, are attractive targets for cybercriminals due to the vast amounts of sensitive personal and medical information they handle. The potential fallout from such breaches can be severe, impacting not only the affected organizations but also the individuals whose data is compromised.

However, the department’s swift coordination with law enforcement and other stakeholders highlights the importance of a rapid and coordinated response in mitigating the impact of such incidents.

The Cyber Express will continue to monitor the situation closely, providing updates as more information becomes available. The Cyber Express remains committed to delivering timely and accurate updates to keep the public informed.

In the meantime, this incident serves as a reminder of the critical need for enhanced cybersecurity measures and proactive incident response strategies to protect sensitive data and maintain the integrity of essential services.

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