Alaska state health officials say cyberattackers had access to personal resident information

    "Cyber attack red text between blue binary data on screen" by wuestenigel is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The cyberattack against the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services earlier in the year may have compromised some Alaskan's personal and health information to the attackers.

    They said in a statement that given the "capabilities of the nation-state sponsored attacker and the scope of access they had to the department’s infrastructure," they cannot be assured there is a low probability that protected health information was compromised.

    In the same statement, they state that full names, dates of birth, social security numbers, addresses, telephone numbers, driver’s license numbers, internal identifying numbers, health information, financial information, and historical information concerning individuals’ interaction with the department were the types of data compromised.

    Technology Officer for the Department, Scott McCutcheon, was asked at a press event Thursday for the number of individuals whose data may have been compromised.

    "In terms of the total number of the population total or the number of actual people that had a breach of their personal identifiable information or their data, we couldn't ascertain that number at all," he said. "It's a very approximate process, to come into a breach determination, and so that was what the group came back with is that there was a probability that Alaskans had some information breached, and in terms of a population count we could not even estimate that."

    Free credit monitoring will be available for any concerned Alaskan as a result of this breach, and on September 21st a toll-free hotline will be available to assist people with signing up for service.

    The DHSS officials were asked about where they are currently at with their recovery process, McCutcheon cited that in 2020, the Computer hardware company IBM put out a notice that it typically takes 280 days to respond to a cyber event.

    "We're at painfully we're at day 137 of the event, and we're moving forward, but we have able to restore some services, so I feel like we've made good progress, but we're in various stages of restoration."

    Commissioner Adam Crum added that they know that the systems being down has put a burden on the general public on an already tough year, but said this is something they are continuing to grind through.

    "We are working to get them up online as fast as possible, while also protecting for future attacks, and this difficult process to rebuild and make the plane stronger while you fly it is really where we're at," Crum said. "But we're going to continue this process, we're looking at our timelines and does future help need to be brought in and in order to do this, because our IT staff are working around the clock to make sure that this remediation occurs while at the same time maintain functionality on a department that has 1000 different servers."

    More from News of the North

    • CCFR air rescues injured man from road near Hoonah

      Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Capital City Fire and Rescue responded to a remote road near Hoonah on Sunday, for an air rescue of a young man who had been in a motorcycle accident. News of the North reached out to assistant fire chief Travis Mead, who coordinated CCFR's response.

    • COVID-19 update 10-26

      Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - 14 positive cases of COVID-19 were reported in Juneau residents yesterday, by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. 4 people are hospitalized at Bartlett regional hospital for the virus. No one at the Juneau School District has tested positive since Monday.

    • CDC approves booster shots for Johnson & Johnson and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines

      Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - According to a recent release from the City and Borough of Juneau, The CDC has officially endorsed booster shots of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines for certain populations.

    • CBJ launches new tax transparency tool

      Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The City and Borough of Juneau is implementing a new resource intended to allow residents to see how their tax dollars are spent. The program, called Taxpayer Receipt, will provide residents an estimated breakdown of programs and services supported by residents' property and sales tax dollars.

    • Falcons Volleyball Works Through Anchorage Tournament 

      Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Thunder Mountain volleyball team took one last tuneup on the road last weekend to Anchorage, playing Eagle River on Thursday and a host of teams in the Dimond/Service Tournament on Friday and Saturday. They will begin a final home stand against Ketchikan this week, including a senior night on Friday, and then prepare for the Region V Championships in Ketchikan Nov. 5-6.

    • Alaska special session trudges on with little action

      JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska Legislature is in special session, but it's quiet at the Capitol in Juneau.

    • State drops open container citation against Alaska lawmaker

      JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The state has dropped a $220 citation issued to an Alaska state lawmaker for having an open container in his vehicle.

    • Workshop to be held on invasive species in Alaska

      Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The 2021 Alaska Invasive Species Workshop will be hosted through Zoom on Nov. 3-4, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. both days with the theme “Join the Persistence: Working Behind the Screen to Prevent and Manage Invasive Species.”

    • Alaska Weather Army seeking volunteers

      Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Nationwide Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network is reaching out for more volunteers in Alaska to help with measuring rain, hail and snow whenever it falls in their area.

    • Juneau assembly swears in members, reorganizes committees

      Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Juneau Assembly met Monday evening and took up the swearing-in of members, and provided recognition of outgoing assembly member Loren Jones.

    • COVID-19 update 10-25

      Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - 45 positive cases of COVID-19 were reported in Juneau from Oct. 23-25, by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), 44 are residents and one was a nonresident. Currently, there are 4 people hospitalized at Bartlett Regional Hospital for the virus.

    • Husky Cheer Team are Grand Master Champs

      Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Juneau Husky Cheer Team went from being part of Friday night’s high school football state championship game in Anchorage to Saturday’s Rally in the Valley cheer competition in Palmer with a transition from freezing field to heated gym that was as flawless as their performances in both. 


    Add a comment

    Log in to the club to add your comment.

    Current Conditions

    Crude Oil Price