HSE cyberattack: ‘Probable’ that personal data circulating is genuine, gardaí say

An Garda Síochána urged those who suspect they are victims of the recent cyberattack on the HSE to make a report at their local Garda station
HSE cyberattack: ‘Probable’ that personal data circulating is genuine, gardaí say

Sarah Mooney

Gardaí have said it is “probable” that personal records or data reported to have been circulated in the wake of a cyberattack on the health service are genuine.

In a statement on Friday evening, An Garda Síochána urged those who suspect they are victims of the recent cyberattack on the HSE to make a report at their local Garda station.

It comes as the gang behind the health service attack is still threatening to share and sell information on the darknet, including personal data relating to patients, if a ransom is not paid by Irish authorities.

“The Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau (GNCCB) is continuing its criminal investigation into the cyberattack on the HSE in conjunction with local and international partners,” the Garda statement said.

“An Garda Síochána encourages people who have reason to suspect they are victims of cyber related crime, particularly the recent criminal cyberattack of the HSE, to make a report at their local Garda station.

“It has not been confirmed with full certainty that personal records or data reported to have been circulated are in fact genuine even though this is probable and would be a feature of these attacks.”

'Do not engage'

Gardaí urged anyone contacted by those claiming to hold personal information to not engage.

“In general, our crime prevention advice has been and remains — if you are contacted by persons stating that they have your personal details and/or looking for bank account details you should not engage or provide any personal information,” the statement said.

“An Garda Síochána is encouraging people to report suspected breaches of personal data, which will be examined by specialist investigators. Such reports will be handled in a sensitive manner.”

Meanwhile, the decryption key offered to the HSE following last week's cyberattack has been verified as genuine following examination by cybersecurity experts and the National Cybersecurity Centre (NCSC).

However, despite working, it is unlikely to significantly speed up the restoration of the health service's IT systems as it has been described as "buggy" and "flawed".

It comes less than 24 hours after it emerged that the cyber gang targeting the HSE had provided the tool to Irish authorities — one it claimed will allow them to repair their IT systems after the hacking that has thrown much of the health service into chaos.

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