Gardaí have launched an investigation into the hacking of a Health Service Executive (HSE) contractor earlier this year.
The Irish Examiner has reported that the hack took place one month before the large-scale cyberattack on the HSE's ICT systems in May.
The contractor was hacked on April 15th, and it is understood that the perpetrators accessed the contact details of 1,119 service users.
One month later on May 14th, the HSE became aware of a ransomware cyber-attack and was forced to shut down all of its ICT systems.
However, the HSE has declined to say if the two incidents could be related.
The health authority is working with An Garda Síochána and the Data Protection Commissioner in relation to the breach.
Earlier this week Detective Chief Superintendent Paul Cleary said that the Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau had launched a disruption take-down operation in the past two weeks.
He also confirmed that the servers of the gang behind the sophisticated ransomware attack had been siezed.
“We effectively took their servers, the mains and websites, and we put up our own alerts-splashed screen with the Garda insignia, basically warning any potential new victims that they should check their networks, that they may be compromised,” he said.
“We know that 753 potential unsuspecting new victims would have seen our alert screen and subsequently prevented a further ransomware attack, so it was successful, and we have more of those type of crime-prevention and disruption operations planned into the future.”