Ireland’s national health service suffered a ‘significant ransomware attack’

Ireland’s national health service, the Health Service Executive (HSE), shut down its IT system last week after it was hit by a Conti ransomware attack.

“There is a significant ransomware attack on the HSE IT systems. We have taken the precaution of shutting down all our IT systems in order to protect them from this attack and to allow us fully assess the situation with our own security partners,” the Irish national health service said in a message on Twitter.

The incident has caused widespread disruption in the country’s healthcare, causing limited access to diagnostics and medical records, transcription errors due to handwritten notes, and slow response times to healthcare visits. However, HSE Ireland said that vaccinations were going as planned and that the cyberattack did not affect “emergency ambulance call handling and dispatch nationally.”

According to a screenshot of the communications between the HSE and the Conti ransomware group, the hackers allegedly had access to the health service’s IT systems for more than two weeks. They also claimed to have stolen 700 GB of unencrypted files from the HSE, including patient info and employee info, contracts, financial statements, payroll, and more.

The gang reportedly demanded $20 million from the HSE, however, Taoiseach Micheál Martin, the Prime Minister of Ireland, said that they would not be paying any ransom.

Days after the ransomware attack on the HSE Ireland’s health ministry was hit by a similar attack.

“The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) became aware on Thursday of an attempted cyber attack on the Department of Health,” the government said in a statement. It explained “some functions” of the department’s IT system had been suspended “as a precautionary measure”.

“This attempted attack remains under investigation, however there are indications that this was a ransomware attack similar to that which has affected the HSE,” the government said.

Similar Posts