Maryland officials confirm ransomware attack shut down Department of Health

Maryland officials confirmed on Wednesday that state’s Department of Health is dealing with a devastating ransomware attack, which has left hospitals struggling amid a surge of COVID-19 cases.  

In a statement released on Wednesday, Maryland Chief Information Security Officer Chip Stewart said the attack began on December 4 and crippled their systems. 

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“We have paid no extortion demands, and my recommendation — after consulting with our vendors and state and federal law enforcement — continues to be that we do not pay any such demand. At this time, we cannot speak to the motive or motives of the threat actor,” Stewart said. 

Stewart went on to explain that the health department’s network team noticed a server malfunctioning in the early morning of December 4. They eventually escalated it to the IT security team, which later notified Stewart that it may be a ransomware attack. 

The state began its incident response plan, which started with notifying multiple Maryland agencies, the

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