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HSE effort to rebuild systems after ransomware attack is 'gaining momentum'

Paul Reid, HSE CEO, said that work was progressing but added that patients and staff were still at risk.

Image: Niall Carson

THE HSE’S EFFORTS to rebuild its cyber-attack destroyed systems are “gaining momentum”, Paul Reid has said.

The CEO of the organisation tweeted today that technicians were working to overcome the difficulties.

“We’re gaining momentum in rebuilding many of our healthcare systems. We’re conscious it will be some time yet before our patients & staff see the full benefits though & we’re still at high risk levels,” he explained.

Speaking on RTE Radio Junior Minister for eGovernment and Public Procurement Ossian Smyth said that the technicians were ahead of schedule in their work.

“They’re making enormous progress and they’re further ahead than they expected to be” – on rebuilding the infrastructure,” he said.

Minister Smyth added that there was “no evidence” that any data had been deleted and said that they believe that no data on Tusla computers had been accessed by the hackers

“The outcome is going to be good and I think that the HSE is going to be a stronger and more resilient organisation after the attack,” he added.

Colm Henry, the HSE Chief Clinical Officer said on Raidió na Gaeltachta refused to criticise the standard of the HSE’s cyber defences.

“We must remember at all times that this attack was perpetrated by criminals who had no scruples about who they targeted and who suffered as a result of their criminality,” he said.

The HSE confirmed yesterday that data from at least 520 patients has appeared online.

Late week the Financial Times reported that it had seen screenshots and files proving that medical and personal information belonging to HSE patients had been shared online. 

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The HSE shut down its IT systems a fortnight ago after it became aware of a significant ransomware attack, with widespread disruption across the health service as a result. 

The Financial Times story appeared to be the first confirmation of a data leak since the attack.

The Minister for Heath subsequently confirmed that the leak was genuine and the HSE has now said that it includes “sensitive patient data” and other documents.  

“Recently a news publication wrote a story saying they had seen HSE data that had been illegally accessed. We informed the publication of the court order we obtained in relation to this matter last week and asked them to supply it to us, and they agreed,” the HSE said in a statement. 

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