The Irish Health Service HSE shut down all IT systems on Friday following a “major” ransomware attack that has disrupted COVID-19 testing and other patient services. The BBC reports. The country’s COVID-19 vaccination schedule does not appear to be affected.
A government official says news status of RTE that an international criminal group is responsible for the attack. “This is not espionage. It was an international attack, but this is just a cybercrime gang looking for money, ”says Ossian Smyth, Minister of State for Public Procurement and e-Government.
The country’s Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Micheál Martin says Ireland is not paying a ransom.
By Financial Times, the government received a ransom demand to pay with bitcoin. The attack seemed to affect data stored on central servers in the affected health system, RTE reported, but did not appear to have compromised patient data.
The HSE tweeted yesterday that it had removed its information systems as a precaution to protect them from attacks.
HSE’s IT systems are under significant ransomware attack. We have taken precautions by shutting down all of our IT systems to protect them from this attack and to allow us to fully assess the situation with our own security partners.
– HSE Ireland (@HSELive) May 14, 2021
The attack had a serious impact on the country’s health and social services on Friday, but emergency services continued to operate normally, according to Health Minister Stephen Donnelly. He reiterated that COVID vaccination in Ireland continued as planned.
Today has been a challenging day @HSELive . But in the midst of such a challenge, the vaccination program continues. The Aviva Vaccination Center has today surpassed 52,000 vaccinations since they opened – more than the capacity of the stadium! pic.twitter.com/QJ9lmvg14F
– Stephen Donnelly (@DonnellyStephen) May 14, 2021
The Irish attack takes place less than a week later event to the colonial leadership, which took one of the largest fuel pipes in the United States offline. The company announced paid a ransom of nearly $ 5 million attackers in the event that its systems are restored to the network.