Brazil: Hackers just deleted all vaccine records on the Brazilian Health Ministry’s database
The websites of Brazil’s Health Ministry and the ConectaSUS platform, which centralizes vaccination data and other health information for Brazilians, were taken down by hackers in the early hours of Friday.
Both platforms were still down as of Friday noon in Brazil after the attack.
Early in the morning, when trying to access the ministry website, users only saw a black screen with a message which read “The internal data of the systems were copied and deleted. 50 Tb of data is in our hands. Contact us if you want the data back,” followed by an email address and a link to a Telegram channel.
This kind of attack is known as ransomware, a type of virus that hijacks access to system data by encrypting it. Usually hackers promise to release access after receiving a ransom. No information on ransom was released, though.
Hours later, the message was taken down, but the ministry’s website was still inaccessible. The platform with vaccination data was also inaccessible, preventing Brazilians from issuing their vaccination certificates.
The Ministry of Health said in a note that “some systems were compromised” and that it called on the Federal Police and the Institutional Security Office of the Presidency of the Republic to investigate the case.