Ireland's health care system targeted by ransomware attack
Ireland's public health care service preemptively deactivated its IT services on Friday after it was targeted by a ransomware attack, according to the AP.
Why it matters: The attack on Ireland's Health Service Executive, and other recent high-profile cyber extortion attempts, demonstrates how vulnerable critical infrastructure is to criminal hacking groups.
What they're saying: “We’ve taken a precautionary measure to shut down a lot of our major systems to protect them,” Paul Reid, the head of the HSE, told broadcaster RTE.
- “We are at the very early stages of fully understanding the threats, the impact and trying to contain it.”
- "This is having a severe impact on our health and social care services today, but individual services and hospital groups are impacted in different ways," Ireland's Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said in a tweet.
The big picture: The attack and the resulting IT issues have forced hospitals to cancel numerous appointments, though it is unclear how widespread the disruption was.
- Coronavirus testing and vaccination appointments were not disrupted by the ransomware attempt, though a maternity hospital in Dublin canceled most of its routine appointments because of IT issues, according to AP.
Go deeper: The ransomware pandemic