Taoiseach says HSE cyber attacks are “very significant threat” to the State

The Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, Minister for Justice, Heather Humphreys, Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly and Minister of State for Communications and eGovernment, Ossian Smyth, met last afternoon to discuss the ongoing impact of the ransomware cyber-attack on the HSE, the intensive technical responses that have been deployed and the ongoing work to recover the HSE’s IT systems, to ensure against further damage and, most importantly, to support the restoration of health care services.

Micheal Martin has described cyberattacks like the one that has crippled the HSE as a “very significant threat” to the State.The Taoiseach has also said Ireland must deliver a “robust and strong” message to the rest of the world that we won’t be negotiating with the Russian cyber hackers behind the attack.Mr Martin said: “The Government response is steady and methodical and I want to pay tribute to the HSE for the way they’ve responded so far to this attack

“It’s a heinous attack, it’s a shocking attack on the health service, but fundamentally on sick patients, on the public, and we’re taking advice from the experts in cybersecurity, from the National Cyber Security Centre.” he added

The government’s main concern is to secure as speedy a resumption of all medical services as can possibly be achieved, consistent with ensuring that the HSE’s system can be safely and robustly restored. No effort is being spared to achieve this.The details of the hospital services available and being restored will be updated by the HSE on its website on a regular basis.

The government is adopting a determined and methodical approach to resolving the impact of this attack. All necessary resources and personnel are engaged in support of the HSE. The response to the attack is being led by the National Cyber Security Centre, working in very close collaboration with the HSE, the government’s Chief Information Officer and a specialist cyber security contractor. In addition, a number of private sector cyber security experts have volunteered their support in recent days.

There is a risk that the medical and other data of patients will be abused. Anyone who is affected is urged to contact the HSE and the Garda authorities.

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