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The Explainer: What is the impact of the HSE cyberattack?

We speak to a cybersecurity expert to find out more.

LAST WEEK, THE HSE announced that in the middle of the night it had suffered a major ransomware cyberattack.

The attack meant that all of the HSE’s IT systems had to be shut down to deal with the attack, which led to disruptions in hospitals, cancellations of appointments, and lack of access to electronic records. 

It was the most significant cybercrime attack on the Irish state, and continues to be a huge issue for the HSE. At the time of recording, the HSE’s IT system is still down, while  “slow but steady progress” is made in dealing with the attack – Reid has warned that progress is volatile and the process for fix will take weeks.

Yesterday, there was a big development on the cyberattack, when the criminals involved provided a decryption tool. Initial results show that it works and it will allow the HSE to unlock any computers impacted by the ransomware attack, although testing is still underway.

So, what is the impact of a cyberattack like this? And how worried should you be about your own data?

To talk us through the answers to this week’s question, we’re joined by senior reporter at The Journal Michelle Hennessy, and Brian Honan, cybersecurity expert and CEO of BH Consulting. 

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Source: The Explainer/SoundCloud

This episode was put together by presenter Sinéad O’Carroll, producers Aoife Barry and Nicky Ryan.

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