Ireland’s health service shut down its IT systems on Friday after being targeted in what it called a “significant ransomware attack.”
The Health Service Executive said the move was a precaution, and appointments for coronavirus vaccinations were not affected.
“We’ve taken a precautionary measure to shut down a lot of our major systems to protect them,” chief executive Paul Reid told broadcaster RTE.
“We are at the very early stages of fully understanding the threats, the impact and trying to contain it.”
It was unclear how wide the disruption to the health system was. Dublin’s Rotunda maternity hospital said it was canceling most routine appointments due to the IT issues, calling the situation a “critical emergency.”
Ransomware attacks are typically carried out by criminal hackers who scramble data, paralyzing victims’ networks, and demand a large payment to decrypt it.
Health care systems have been a target before. In 2017, Britain’s National Health Service was hit in a cyberextortion attack, forcing hospitals to close wards and emergency rooms and turn away patients.
In the US, the nation’s largest fuel pipeline was hit with a ransomware attack a week ago. The disruption of the Colonial Pipeline caused long lines at gas stations due to distribution problems and panic-buying, draining supplies at thousands of gas stations. It restarted operations on Wednesday.
The attack highlighted concerns about the vulnerability of critical infrastructure to hacking groups and criminals.
Largest US fuel pipeline resumes operations after cyberattack forced it to shut downIt’s unclear if the company paid any ransom to the hackers who the Washington Post reported were believed “to be based in the former Soviet Union infiltrated servers and encrypted its data, demanding a fee to restore access.” Energy
Japan says Chinese military likely behind cyberattacks on 200 companiesTokyo police are investigating cyberattacks on about 200 Japanese companies and research organizations, including the country’s space agency, by a ... World News
IBM uncovers more cyberattacks targeting COVID-19 vaccine supply chainInternational Business Machines Corp said on Wednesday its cybersecurity unit has uncovered more digital attacks targeting the global COVID-19 vaccine ... Coronavirus
University of California falls victim to nationwide cyberattackThe University of California is warning its students and staff that a ransomware group might have stolen and published their personal data and that of ... World News
Oil prices gain after cyberattack forces shutdown of Colonial Pipeline in USOil rose on Monday after major US fuel pipeline operator Colonial Pipeline had to shut fuel pipelines due to a cyberattack, raising concerns about ... Energy