Irish Health System Hit by Ransomware Attack Days After Colonial Pipeline Hack

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The Irish Health Service Executive system has been hit by a ransomware attack, shutting down all IT systems just days after the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack in the U.S.

The Irish health services system, known as the Health Services Executive (HSE) has reportedly been affected by a “significant ransomware attack” on its internal systems. The Irish government agency stated at emergency services and vaccination efforts have not been affected by the hack.

RTE News reports that HSE CEO Paul Reid stated the attack was “significant” and “sophisticated.” HSE Chief Operations Officer Anne O’Connor said that the HSE was alerted to the attack at 4 AM on Friday and described it as a “zero-day threat with a brand new variant of the Conti ransomware.”

The HSE stated that it took the decision to shut down its IT system in order to protect it from the attack to give it time to assess the situation. The HSE is reportedly working to find out the extent of the hack and is working with the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC), An Garda Síochána (Ireland’s police force), external and international partners, and its security partners to determine what steps to take next.

O’Connor stated that all systems have been shut down as a four-step approach was initiated to inform people of the situation. She added that the HSE is not aware that any personal information was compromised and is not currently aware of a ransom demand but that all responses to the incident are being treated with caution.

The hack on the Irish health system comes just days after Colonial Pipeline in the United States was hit with a major ransomware hack, halting the distribution of fuel on the East Coast of the U.S. Breitbart News has since reported that Colonial Pipeline paid around $50 million to hackers to regain access to their systems.

The Irish Times reports that a spokesperson for the HSE has confirmed that a ransom was demanded, but added that the ransom would not be paid in line with state policy.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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