The Irish National Health Service has disabled HSE computers as a precautionary measure because the system has been infected with hostage software. Today, the damage is recorded and checked to see if computers can be safely rebooted.
Without notice, all appointments continue, including vaccination appointments due to the coronavirus. Maternity hospitals have canceled all appointments for home visits, except for women who are almost due.
The head of the HSE told Irish public service broadcaster RTÉ this morning that all national and local computer networks have been infected. Stored data was the target. The perpetrator or the perpetrators haven‘t demanded a ransom yet.
Inside via patient registration
The head of a maternity hospital in Dublin said his staff found out last night that the system had been hacked. He assumes that other hospitals have been affected as well. “We use the same system for patient registration within the HSE. It looks like they got in there.”
His clinic has meanwhile switched to paper files. According to him, that goes well, but it does lead to a delay. This is why we are investigating whether a number of appointments for today can be cancelled.
A cancer specialist from Cork University Hospital said that his hospital also shut down all the computers as a precaution. This creates a lot of stress for patients waiting for results.
“ If this continues until Monday, we have a very serious problem. Many agreements cannot go on,” says director Anne O’Conner to the Irish broadcaster RTE. “At the moment, we can‘t see who there are appointments with, so we don’t even know who to cancel.”
An involved trustee speaks of a criminal attack and probably “the biggest cyber attack against the Irish state ever.”