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Maryland Department of Health investigating 'network security incident'

Certain systems have been taken offline out of an abundance of caution, according to a department spokesperson.

BALTIMORE — The Maryland Department of Health was the target of a network security incident on Sunday, and investigators from several Maryland departments are working to figure out what happened.

Details are scant at this point, but Andy Owen, a spokes person from the Maryland Department of Health, said the Maryland Security Operations Center is investigating is investigating the incident, but was not specific about what happened to the MDH website.

Maryland Department of Information Technology, MDH and the Maryland Department of Emergency Management are working closely with federal and state law enforcement partners to address the incident and gather additional information, Owen said in a statement.

"Certain systems have been taken offline out of an abundance of caution and other precautions have and will be taken," the statement reads.

Those affected by the incident, including MDH employees and partners have been informed, according to Owen.

While additional details about this particular incident have yet to be released, cyberattacks have impacted several institutions over the past year.

Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline, which supplies roughly half the fuel consumed on the East Coast, temporarily shut down its operations on May 7 after a gang of cybercriminals using the DarkSide ransomware variant broke into the company's computer system. The ransomware variant used by DarkSide, which has been the subject of an FBI investigation since last year, is one of more than 100 that law enforcement officials are now scrutinizing, said FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate.

Following the pipeline attack, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan called on the federal government to “wake up” to the threat of cybersecurity in an op-ed, calling for legal penalties against companies failing to meet safety standards.

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