Ireland’s health service shut down its computer systems on Friday after being hit with a “sophisticated” ransomware attack. The Irish Health Service Executive (HSE) IT systems had been hit by a “significant ransomware attack”.
“We have taken the precaution of shutting down all our IT systems in order to protect them from this attack and to allow us (to) fully assess the situation with our own security partners”Irish Health Service Executive (HSE)
Most importantly, no scheduled appointments or vaccinations would be impacted; both will take place as planned. However, the registration board, has been taken down.
Patients have been advised to visit walk-in testing centers since doctors are unable to send clients for Covid-19 tests. But the ambulance service operated normally, according to the Irish Health Service.
Ireland Ransomware attack
Ransomware is a sort of malicious software that encrypts data and prevents users from accessing it. In exchange for regaining access, hackers seek a ransom payment; usually in bitcoin.
In 2017, a malware known as WannaCry hit The U.K.’s National Health Service; one of many organizations.
Peter Carthew, director of public sector U.K. and Ireland at security firm Proofpoint; said health-care organizations are “high value targets for ransomware attacks.”
A hacking organization called DarkSide, could carried out the attack. Although DarkSide is a new organization, cybersecurity experts feel it is dangerous. Despite the international criticism following its attack on Colonial, the organization claimed on Wednesday that it had attacked three additional companies.
The ransomware not only attack the Irish Health Service. Also, a European business of the division of Japanese tech conglomerate Toshiba, was victim of a hack on May 4. The company also blamed DarkSide.