Hackers attack Brazil’s health ministry website, vaccination data vanishes

On Friday, December 10, Brazil’s health ministry said that its website was hit by a cyberattack that took several of its systems down.

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One of those systems included Brazil’s national immunization program and another system used to issue digital vaccination certificates. 

Around 1 am on Friday, Brazil’s health ministry suffered the attack. “The health ministry reports that in the early hours of Friday it suffered an incident that temporarily compromised some of its systems … which are currently unavailable,” it said in a statement, Reuters reported

The group, Lapsus$ Group, has claimed responsibility for the hack in a message posted on the government’s website.

Black image with text in white and red left by hackers in relating to the Brazilian Ministry of Health hack

The message Lapsus$ Group left says, “Contact us if you want the data returned” with contact details. In the message left, they say, “50TB worth of data has been extracted from the MoH’s systems and subsequently deleted”. 

On Friday evening, Deputy Health Minister Rodrigo Cruz said that the government had still not been able to recover the data but that it was too early to say whether the data had been lost, Reuters reported

On Sunday, December 12, Brazil’s Ministry of Health said that the data recovering efforts had been successful.

“The Ministry of Health informs that the process for recovering the records of Brazilians vaccinated against Covid-19 has been completed, with no loss of information. All data was successfully retrieved.”

However, as of December 12th, the Ministry still was not able to register and issue new vaccination certificates but that they were working on it. 

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