Hackers attacked Ireland’s IT system responsible for medical services. It informed the government that it did not pay ransoms to the perpetrators.
Reuters reported on Thursday that the Irish government has a decryption key in place following last week’s ransomware attack on HSE’s public health information systems. It was noted that the authorities did not pay the ransom.
HSE announced on May 14 that it was the victim of a ransomware-type cyberattack that affected all IT systems providing essential medical services in Ireland.
On the same day, Prime Minister Michel Martin announced that the government would not pay the hackers a ransom. Even earlier, Deputy Secretary Osian Smith, in charge of e-government, announced that what was likely the most important cyber attack on the Irish state was the work of a foreign group of cybercriminals focused on extorting money.
According to the Irish Times, a Russian-speaking Cybergang is behind the attack, which provided the decryption key, but still threatens to reveal information on the dark web, including personal data about patients, if the ransom is not paid.
During ransomware attacks, malware blocks access to computer systems or sensitive data, and a ransom payment is required to unblock it.
The attack caused serious disruptions in the work of hospitals and clinics, which were denied access to electronic databases, which in turn forced some institutions to cancel routine visits and procedures. However, it had no effect on hospital equipment, which is operated separately from IT systems, or vaccination against COVID-19.
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