Ransomware attack shuts down health service in Ireland

Ireland has temporarily shut down its IT systems after what it calls a “very sophisticated” ransomware attack in the past day.

It resulted in the national health service cancelling appointments and left doctor unable to access patient records.

COVID-19 test and GP systems are among parts affected. The attack prevented patients from attending critical appointments, although vaccinations in the country weren’t affected, because they run on a separate infrastructure.

HSE chief executive Paul Reid said: “It’s a very sophisticated attack. It is impacting all of our national and local systems that would be involved in all of our core services”.

“We did become aware of it during the night and have been acting on it straight away. The immediate priority is obviously to contain this.”

Services are likely to be limited or unavailable throughout the weekend and into next week, HSE say.

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