‘Callous’ Ransomware Attack Caused ‘Catastrophic’ Damage to Irish Healthcare System

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Irish Health Service Shuts Down Computer Systems Following ‘Major Ransomware Attack’


A ransomware hack into the Irish Health Service’s computer system has been called “catastrophic”, with the government testing a decryption tool in hopes of restoring it to full capacity.

The number of nominations in certain parts of the Republic of Ireland has fallen 80% since the attack was identified at the end of last week, with healthcare workers trying to keep working with paper records.

Paul Reid, chief executive of the Health Service Executive (HSE), said the attack was a “ruthless act” against health workers who worked “tirelessly during the pandemic”.

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HSE boss Paul Reid called the attack “calloused”

“I really believe that it is a criminal act that makes you stomach ache,” he said.

“Launching an attack of this magnitude against sick and vulnerable people in this country in the midst of a global pandemic is an absolutely extraordinary thing to do.

“There is no doubt that it is a vicious and callous act and will be condemned everywhere by honest people.

“This is also a specific attack on health workers, having worked tirelessly for 15 months, making many personal sacrifices, taking many personal risks and providing care to those most affected by COVID-19[feminine[feminine. «

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The Irish Department of Health was hit by a ransomware attack last Thursday, and the HSE on Friday.

This has prompted cancellations of outpatient services, but Mr Reid said the HSE response has been “comprehensive” and “will continue to be relentless.”

However, he said work to repair the damage is continuing.

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Taoiseach Micheál Martin ruled out paying the ransom demand

Speaking at an HSE press briefing, Mr Reid said: “We are now in the assessment phase where we assess the entire network… to understand the impacts across the network. “

Mr Reid said the Irish health service is using 2,000 systems and 4,500 servers and the damage is forcing tech specialists to rebuild a “30-year legacy network”.

Hackers demanded a ransom on Monday, threatening to release patient data, but Taoiseach Micheál Martin has ruled out paying.

The government has said the decryption tool is being tested to ensure that it “will support the recovery of our systems rather than causing further damage”, but there is no deadline for the handover. online medical services.

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