Irish national health system shuts down registry after ‘ransomware attack’

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Ireland’s health system Health Service Executive has been hit by what the service calls a ransomware attack. According to the HSE, this is a targeted attack ‘that is human-driven’ and the attackers are out to steal data.

HSE does not know who is behind the attack, the public health service tells RTÉ. As a precaution, the IT systems are shut down to protect them against the attack and to be able to investigate. The patient registration system, among other things, was closed due to the attack. HSE speaks of a “significant, sophisticated attack”, but no ransom has yet been demanded. It is not clear what kind of ransomware attack is involved.

All of HSE’s national and local systems have been affected by the attack. The service is working with the national cybersecurity team and security experts to stop the attack. HSE now thinks the hackers entered through the patient registration system.

As a result of the attack, all outpatient appointments at Dublin’s Rotunda Hospital have been cancelled. Appointments of pregnant women who are less than 36 weeks pregnant are also cancelled. Other care appointments and Irish hospitals for the time being will continue as normal, HSE says. However, it is possible that statements are delayed because hospitals now have to work with paper registrations. The corona vaccinations in the country are also continuing.