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The State IT Department is Working Around the Clock to Defend Against Coronavirus-Related Cyber Attacks

Local News

The coronavirus is keeping more than the Health Department busy

The North Dakota IT Department has been battling back hackers that have been taking over government websites and spreading false information.

Just this week, hackers attacked the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. They attempted to take down critical websites, and make them harder to access.

North Dakota Chief Information Officer Shawn Riley says it’s all in an effort to slow the country’s response to the coronavirus. He says this hack was defended against, but there has been an uptick in this sort of cyberattack, and it’s growing as the coronavirus spreads.

Right now, the IT Department is working 20 hour days to defend our healthcare data.

“The reality is, is that they really are creating havoc. When they attack these sites, it limits the capacity to respond, and sometimes gets in the way of health workers from connecting to their patients. There can be significant repercussions,” Riley explained.

Riley says he’s also seen tons of fake websites.

When searching for information on the coronavirus, make sure you’re checking multiple sources to back up what you’re reading. And keep in mind, social media is an easy place for these hackers to take advantage of you.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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