Ransomware Attack Targeted Ireland’s Health System

The country cancelled appointments and elective surgeries after learning of an attempted digital data hack.

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A recent AP News article discussed a ‘serious’ ransomware attack targeted at Ireland’s health system. Ransomware is a kind of malware that threatens to publish the victim’s data or block access until the ransom is paid. In this case, the victim is the Irish health system, which stores citizens’ health records.

The country’s health service shut down its IT systems and canceled appointments and elective procedures last week after learning of the attempted attack. “There’s a lot we don’t know but it appears to be a ransomware attack by international criminals. The problem could run through the weekend and into next week, unfortunately.” said Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar. According to officials, none of the coronavirus vaccinations were affected, but they anticipate major problems for radiology services, elective surgeries, and obstetrics and gynecology appointments. 

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