Government warns patient medical records may be "abused" amid cyber attack
They said that anyone affected by the hack should contact the HSE and Gardaí.
The Government has warned that there is a possible risk of patient medical records being “abused” by the criminal hackers who launched a cyber attack on the HSE and Department of Health last week.
In a statement on Monday, the Government described the cyber attack as a “despicable” crime that targeted “critical health infrastructure and sensitive patient data”.
“Any public release by the criminals behind this attack of any stolen patient data is equally and utterly contemptible,” they said.
The Government also urged anyone affected by the hack to contact the HSE and Gardaí.
“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,” they added.
Early on Friday, the HSE announced it had temporarily shut down its IT system after it was targeted in a "significant ransomware attack".
Described as possibly the most significant cybercrime attack on the Irish state by Minister of State for eGovernment Ossian Smyth, it has caused major disruptions to health services across the country.
A further cyber attack was carried out on the Department of Health after the ransomware attack on the Health Service Executive (HSE) earlier this week.
The Department has since shut down its systems and is working to safely restore its data amid the attack and has been "working to respond" to the incident since Thursday.
A digital note from the cybercrime group believed to be responsible has been left on the Department's IT systems.
The note is believed to be similar to the one discovered amid the HSE hack earlier this week.
The Department of Health confirmed that The National Cyber Security Centre, along with the Gardaí and the Defence Forces, is currently investigating the very serious cyber attacks.