The IT systems of the company that manages COVID-19 vaccination appointments for the Lazio region surrounding Rome were attacked and shut down by hackers on Sunday, according to the regional government.
The website of Lazio, the Italian region that includes Rome, was down on Sunday due to a cyber attack, making it impossible for people to book a Covid vaccine, reports Reuters.
“A hacker attack is underway… all defence and verification operations are ongoing to avoid prolonging the cut in services,” the Lazio region said on Twitter.
Operations concerning vaccinations may be slowed down,” it added.
On Sunday morning, the region’s website, www.regione.lazio.it, was still down.
The website for booking vaccinations was also down.
Nicola Zingaretti, President of the Lazio region, also posted on his Facebook page:
“A massive hacker attack against LazioCrea computer systems that manage vaccine bookings is underway tonight. This is a very serious event, it is blocking a crucial service. We apologise to the citizens for the inevitable disruption to services. We have reported the attack to the authorities and I would like to thank all the employees who have been working tonight to defend the centre and to return to normalcy.”
The highly contagious Delta variant accounts for roughly 80% of new Covid-19 cases in Lazio, where 66 percent of the adult population has been inoculated, according to regional health commissioner Alessio D’Amato earlier this week.
According to the health ministry’s website, 60 percent of the population over the age of 12 has been fully vaccinated, with 68.5 million total doses administered.