Text messages with false coronavirus info are being sent to hospital staff

Physicians from hospitals across the country have received text messages with false information about the coronavirus and the government’s response plans, according to ABC News.

On March 15 a physician at a Boston area hospital got a suspicious text that warned of an impending shutdown of public and government services because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The physician went on to pass along the text message, causing the false information to spread.

Physicians staffed by at least one major hospital in San Francisco also reported that they received text messages with false coronavirus information. The realistic-looking text message spread like wildfire, with a false statement that the nation would go under a quarantine in a few days.

Intelligence community officials confirmed that the text messages were false and that a cyberattack had occurred. Officials are investigating who perpetrated the attack, with many leaders believing a foreign actor was the culprit

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency “has taken a number of steps over the last several weeks to increase cybersecurity preparedness across federal civilian agencies, including enhanced monitoring, issuing recommendations as agencies shift to telework, and identifying and protecting particularly important systems supporting COVID-19 response efforts,” spokesperson Sara Sendek told ABC News.

More articles on cybersecurity:
State-by-state breakdown of ransomware attacks on healthcare providers
5 recent data breaches caused by human error
Indiana hospital alerts 2,600 patients of human error data breach

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