Cyberattack forces shutdown of some Alaska health department online services

The Alaska Psychiatric Institute in Anchorage. (Photo courtesy of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services)
The Alaska Psychiatric Institute in Anchorage. An online count of available beds at mental health providers was taken down after the malware attack. (Photo courtesy Alaska Department of Health and Social Services)

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services’ website suffered a malware attack Monday night, impacting some online services.

Services like vital records, a background check system and a count of available beds at mental health providers were taken down in response to the attack, according to a statement from the department Tuesday evening.

Alaskans can still schedule appointments for COVID-19 vaccines, and the COVID-19 information dashboard is still up because those services are hosted by outside sources, said the department.

It’s not clear yet whether any personal or confidential information was compromised, said the department.

It’s the second such attack on a state agency identified in the past several weeks.

The state’s court system was targeted at the end of April, forcing it to shut down its website.

The health department says it’s not clear if the attacks are related. Also, it said, it doesn’t yet know who was behind the attack or how long its website will be down.

Alaska residents can still get help with any impacted services by phone.

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