Hackers shut down system for booking COVID-19 shots in Italy's Lazio region

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FILE PHOTO: Italians receive Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, in Rome

MILAN (Reuters) - Hackers have attacked and shut down the IT systems of the company that manages COVID-19 vaccination appointments for the Lazio region surrounding Rome, the regional government said on Sunday.

"A powerful hacker attack on the region's CED (database) is under way," the region said in a Facebook posting.

It said all systems had been deactivated, including those of the region's health portal and vaccination network, and warned the inoculation programme could suffer a delay.

"It is a very powerful hacker attack, very serious... everything is out. The whole regional CED is under attack," Lazio region's health manager Alessio D'Amato said.

According to ANSA, Italy's postal police and Rome prosecutors are looking into the matter and could open an investigation to find out who is behind the attack.

Italy recently followed France in announcing that proof of vaccination or immunity from COVID-19 would become mandatory for an array of activities.

The move triggered a series of protests across the country against introduction of the so-called Green Pass which shows people have been vaccinated, tested negative or recovered from COVID-19.

(Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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