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Hackers attack HHS and spread coronavirus lies: Bloomberg

The Cyber Operations Center at Fort Gordon, Ga., is home to signal and military intelligence noncommissioned officers, who watch for and respond to network attacks from adversaries as varied as nation-states, terrorists and "hacktivists." The center was sanitized of classified information for this photo. (Michael L. Lewis U.S. Army)
March 16, 2020

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates as more information becomes available.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) suffered a cyber attack on Sunday night designed to slow the departments systems and circulate false information about the coronavirus.

The incident, described by three unnamed sources and reported exclusively by Bloomberg, did not majorly impact the department systems but did result in some misinformation being spread.

The White House National Security Council (NSC) appeared to react to one of the pieces of false information in a Sunday tweet, noting text message rumors of a national quarantine were fake. The NSC tweet was related to the intrusion, Bloomberg sources said.

“There is no national lockdown,” the security agency said. “@CDCgov has and will continue to post the latest guidance on COVID19. #coronavirus.”

The hacking incident included multiple intrusion efforts. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and other Trump administration officials were reportedly aware of the incidents. The HHS, NSC and White House all declined to respond to Bloomberg requests for comment.

One unnamed source for Bloomberg said they do not believe the hackers were able to steal any data from the HHS computer systems.

HHS officials reportedly believe the attack was carried out by a hostile foreign government, though no confirmation of the source of the attack exists at this time.