Hackers target COVID-19 vaccination data on the Brazilian Ministry of Health's website

A hacker attack on Brazil's health ministry's website took down several systems on Friday, including one that contained information about the national immunisation program and another that issued digital vaccination certificates.

Due to the attack, the government postponed the implementation of new health requirements for travelers arriving in Brazil for a week.

"In the early hours of Friday, the health ministry reported an incident that temporarily compromised some of its systems... which are currently unavailable," the ministry said in a statement.

The attack was being investigated by police, according to them.

Internal data had been copied and deleted, according to the alleged hackers, who went by the name Lapsus$ Group. In an apparent ransomware attack, it said, "Contact us if you want the data back."

By Friday afternoon, the message, which included e-mail and Telegram contact information, had been removed, but the web page remained down, and user data in the ConectSUS app, which provides Brazilians with vaccination certificates, had vanished.

The ministry stated that it was working to get its systems back up and running. Deputy Health Minister Rodrigo Cruz said at a press conference that access to the vaccination data had still not been recovered by Friday evening. Cruz stated that it was too early to determine whether or not the data had been lost.

Unvaccinated travelers arriving in Brazil will be quarantined for five days and tested for COVID-19, according to measures decided on Tuesday after President Jair Bolsonaro opposed the use of a vaccine passport.

The requirement was set to begin on Saturday, but the government announced that it would be postponed for a week due to the fact that vaccination data was not accessible online after the attack.

COVID- 19 On the website of health regulator Anvisa, which was not targeted, 19 tracing forms for arriving airline passengers were still available.