Surgeon General's staff targeted in cyberattack

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD, alerted employees of the Public Health Service that hackers may have accessed the agency's personnel system, compromising their personal information, reports The Washington Post.

The hack affects those in the "commissioned corps," a team of more than 6,500 health professionals that provide healthcare to underserved and vulnerable population. The corps reports to the surgeon general.

Dr. Murthy's email indicated the hack affects current, retired and former commissioned corps officers and their dependents, reports The Washington Post.

Potentially compromised information includes names, birth dates and Social Security numbers. The agency learned Sept. 20 that unauthorized users may have accessed a system used for personnel functions, like payroll and leave. The portal for the system has been disabled, and will remain offline for the duration of the investigation, according to the report.

HHS Acting Assistant Secretary for Health Karen DeSalvo co-signed the email, which said the government is trying to learn as much about the incident as possible and prevent such an incident from happening again, according to the report.

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