Brazil Health Ministry Website Hit by Hackers, COVID-19 Vaccination Data Targeted


Brazil’s health ministry said on Friday its website was hit by a hacker attack that destroyed several systems, including one with information about a national vaccination program and another used to issue digital vaccination certificates .

The government deferred for a week the implementation of new health requirements for travelers arriving in Brazil because of the attack.

It said in a statement, “The Ministry of Health reports that in the early hours of Friday it encountered an incident that temporarily compromised some of its systems … which are currently unavailable.”

Police said they are investigating the attack.

The alleged hackers, calling themselves Lapsus$Group” posted a message on the website saying that internal data had been copied and deleted. “Contact us if you want the data back,” a Said in the obvious ransomware attack.

The message, which included e-mail and Telegram contact information, was deleted as of Friday afternoon, but the web page was still down, while user data in the ConectSUS app that provides vaccination certificates to Brazilians disappeared.

The ministry said it was working to restore its system. At a news conference, Deputy Health Minister Rodrigo Cruz said that access to vaccination data had still not been recovered as of Friday evening. Cruz said it was too early to say whether the data was lost.

The decision was taken after the President on Tuesday as part of the measures Jair Bolsonaro Opposing the use of vaccine passports, non-vaccinated travelers arriving in Brazil will have to quarantine for five days and be tested for COVID-19,

The requisition was due to begin on Saturday, but the government said it would be postponed by a week because vaccination data was not available online after the attack.

The COVID-19 tracing forms for incoming airline passengers were still available on health regulator Anvisa’s website, which was not targeted.

© Thomson Reuters 2021