'Significant ransomware attack' forces HSE to shut down IT systems

The Health Service Executive has been forced to shut down its IT systems that contain patient records after what it described as a "significant ransomware attack".

The HSE said it had taken the precaution of shutting down its systems to further protect them, and to allow it to assess the situation.

Some hospitals including Dublin's Rotunda Hospital has cancelled most outpatients visits today with the exception of expectant mothers are 36 weeks pregnant or later. The National Maternity Hospital at Holles Street in Dublin has also said there will be 'significant disruption" to its services today.

The HSE has apologised to patients and the public and said it would give further information as it becomes available. It's understood to have shut down its IT systems to further assess the scale of the ransomware attack.

Covid vaccination centres and appointments are not affected with people scheduled to have the injections today urged not to miss their appointments.

Director-general of the HSE Paul Reid has said that the health service is working with gardaí, the Defence Forces and third-party cybersecurity experts to respond to a cyberattack on its IT system.

Mr Reid told RTÉ Radio’s Morning Ireland that they had become aware of the attack overnight which was targeted at the information-sharing systems across the HSE’s network shared on central servers.

“There has been no ransom demand at this stage. The key thing is to contain the issue,” he said.

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