Leo Varadkar says cyber attack on Department of Health was "unsuccessful" 1 month ago

Leo Varadkar says cyber attack on Department of Health was "unsuccessful"

He said he is unaware of any attacks on any other government departments.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said that the attempted cyber attack on the Department of Health was "unsuccessful".

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The Health Service Executive (HSE) was hit by a ransomware attack earlier in the week with reports following that the Department of Health had likely been subject to a similar attack.

However, Varadkar has since stated that he is unaware of any further successful cyber attacks in any other government department or body other than the HSE.

“There will be a security briefing for party leaders and key ministers this afternoon so I will be more up to date then than I am now," he said at the virtual launch of James Geoghegan’s campaign as Fine Gael’s Dublin Bay South by-election candidate.

“As I understand it, there has been an attack on the HSE system which people will be aware of and an attempted one on the Department of Health which was unsuccessful.

“There hasn’t been one on my department or any other body that I’m aware of but needless to say we’re looking out for it and doing everything we can to strengthen our security systems. It’s worth saying that we have these attempted attacks all the time."

"Government departments, the Oireachtas, Government agencies, you name it but these guys only need to get lucky once to get through and they did that on this occasion."

Varadkar also said that the hackers were responsible for an "attack on sick people" and a "heinous crime", adding that he hopes they will be brought to justice soon.

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“It’s not just an attack on the State, it’s not just an attack on a computer system, this is an attack on sick people.

“Sick people whose care is now going to be delayed and is going to be affected and that really makes this a heinous crime in my view.

“We have to deal with these people. We have to co-operate on an international level and catch them and bring them to justice.”