Irish national healthcare system shuts down registration system after ‘ransomware attack’

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 controlled by people’ 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 from the attack and to be able to investigate them. Among other things, the patient registration system was shut down because of the attack. HSE speaks of a ‘significant, sophisticated attack’, but no ransom is said to have been demanded yet. It is not clear what kind of ransomware attack is involved.

All HSE national and local systems were 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 Rotunda Hospital in Dublin are canceled. Appointments of pregnant women who are less than 36 weeks pregnant are also canceled. Other care arrangements and Irish hospitals are continuing as normal for now, says HSE. However, judgments may be delayed because hospitals now have to work with paper registrations. Corona vaccinations in the country are also continuing.

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