Another report of cyber-attack has surfaced online from the health sector. The recent victim is the Swedish Public Health Agency that has endured numerous hacking attempts. The agency pulled the nation’s infectious diseases database offline following these attempts.
Swedish Health Agency Hacking Attempts
Reportedly, the Swedish Public Health Agency has taken offline its SmiNet database after observing multiple hacking attempts. These attempts also hindered the agency’s data reporting.
Sharing the details via a press release, the agency stated [translated],
SmiNet stores electronic case reports of infectious diseases that are subject to notification in accordance with the Swedish Communicable Diseases Act, for example, covid-19.
The Swedish Public Health Agency can therefore not report complete data from Wednesday at 4 pm before the work of investigating the intrusion attempts has been completed
Upon noticing the attacks, the agency started investigations for possible access to the database. Also, they have informed the law enforcement authorities of the matter.
While the agency pulled the database temporarily offline, it restored the database on May 28, 2021, after security enhancements.
They further assured to share the next update on June 3, 2021, after completing the statistics in a subsequent update.
The agency’s SmiNet database typically stores information about communicable diseases, including COVID-19. Given the continuous cyber attacks on this sort of data, the agency had to pull it offline for the security of the people.
For now, it remains unclear if the attacks included network breaches or the more sophisticated ransomware attacks. The service carries on with the investigation in this regard.
Recently, the Irish health sector had been a victim of a devastating ransomware attack as well. The attacker – the Conti ransomware gang – distorted the data and stole it before encryption.
Soon after, another cyberattack, typically identified as a malware attack, targeted the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), Alaska.