- The Washington Times - Friday, January 22, 2016

A Flint, Michigan, hospital was the victim of an unspecified “cyberattack” on Thursday, a day after the hacktivist group Anonymous said it had set its sights on city targets amid a water crisis there that’s caused President Obama to declare a state of emergency.

Officials at Hurley Medical Center, a teaching hospital in downtown Flint, confirmed the attack hours after Anonymous vowed to take action in response to the water fiasco that’s raised concerns across the country. It was not immediately clear if the cyberattack involved theft or damage to any hospital data or equipment.

“All policies and protocols were followed in relation to the most recent cyberattack on our system. Patient care was not compromised, and we are closely monitoring all systems to ensure IT security is consistently maintained,” hospital spokeswoman Ilene Cantor told Mlive.com.

As of Friday morning, however, both Flint Police Chief James Tolbert and Michigan State Police Lt. David Kaiser acknowledged that neither of their offices had been notified of any such cyberattack, the news site reported.

A day prior to the attack, a video was uploaded to YouTube in which a masked figure said Anonymous was supporting the citizens of Flint who had been affected by the water crisis.

“We must remind the city officials of Flint we do not forget, and we do not forgive,” the individual said in the clip. “The crimes committed by Governor [Rick] Snyder as well as other city officials will not go unpunished.”

“We encourage the city of Flint to be vocal and demand that Governor Snyder face criminal charges. Anonymous will stand beside you. We will amplify your voice where the mainstream media will surely fail you, as it has in the past,” the masked person said.

A spokesman for the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget, which manages the state’s computer systems, acknowledged previously that the state’s website was briefly down on Saturday after being targeted in a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, a rudimentary type of tactic commonly deployed by hacktivists to express objection over a particular site or cause.

“The attempt caused slower performance and a brief period where the site was offline,” Caleb Buhs told the Free Press last week.

The city had not identified any suspects who may be responsible for either attack as of early Friday.

Mr. Obama declared a state of emergency Saturday in Flint, a city of fewer than 100,000 about 60 miles west of Detroit, upon the request of Mr. Snyder, a Republican.

Since 2014, thousands of residents have been exposed to toxic amounts of lead as a result of a decision that year to change sources as a money-saving measure.

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