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HSE cyber attack: Gardaí have not confirmed that any personal data has been leaked

Information purporting to have been gleaned from the HSE in the hack appeared online last week.

Image: Shutterstock/Maksim Shmeljov

GARDAÍ INVESTIGATING THE cyber attack on the HSE said today that they have not confirmed, with any certainty, that any personal records or data have been leaked.

The police force added that the publication of data is “probable” and is a feature of ransomware attacks.

Threats to release information, purporting to come from the hackers, appeared online last week.

Information purporting to have been gleaned from the HSE in the hack also appeared, however, this information has not been verified.

Last week, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly confirmed that HSE data was leaked on the darknet. The HSE said that it was “clear” that data on some servers has been encrypted, but that the full extent of this remains unknown.

The health service said yesterday it is working closely with social media companies as part of efforts to prevent private medical data from Irish patients being shared online. 

The gardaí warned that fraudsters continue to operate and every person needs to be scam aware.

A number of scams proliferating via email, text message and phone call were highlighted, including ones which claim to concern:

  • Underpayment/ Overpayment for some goods or service
  • Eligibility for a refund or Social Welfare payment
  • Being investigated in relation to criminal activity
  • Possible leak of Personal Information

“Anonymous online fraudsters use general widespread electronic means to contact random persons i.e…. automated phone calls, texts and emails with generalised information,” the force said. 

These communications do not use any unique personal information but rely on the current fear and concern amongst members of the public. 

Many prevalent scams may appear to come from official phone numbers, including state offices.

Gardaí warned that engaging with these callers may result in them eliciting information that they will then use to gain your confidence by suggesting that they were already in possession of it.

To check the legitimacy of the caller, people are being advised to terminate the call and then make contact back by a publicly advertised number for that organisation.

People who receive suspect calls are also being advised not to redial the number. Anyone with concerns is asked to contact their local garda station.

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About the author:

Céimin Burke

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