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July 10, 24

NEWS / Florida Vital Records hit with Ransomware Attack


The Florida Department of Health, which is responsible for issuing vital records such as birth and death certificates, has been hit by a cyber attack that disrupted the stateís ability to issue those documents and also put sensitive patient data at risk.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, ransomware group RansomHub claimed to have stolen over 100 gigabytes of data, which they threatened to publish by Friday if their ransom was not paid. Florida law prohibits state agencies from paying ransomware extortion.

The Department of Health noted that among the agencies hit was the central state office, as well as 67 county health departments, 8 childrenís medical service area offices, 12 medical quality assurance regional offices, 9 disability determination regional offices, and 3 public health labs.

Vital Records, responsible for issuing birth, death, marriage, and divorce certificates, have also been attacked. News4Jax reports that funeral directors can no longer submit required death information online, having instead to fill out death certificates by hand and personally deliver them to local health departments. It has therefore become more difficult to get the permission necessary to bury or cremate a deceased loved one.

Delays with death certificates can also affect familiesí ability to get social security, make insurance claims, probate estates, and apply for veteran, retirement and other benefits.



 




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