Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Ossian Smyth has said that the nature of the information stolen when a data storage facility in Northern Ireland was hacked remains unclear.
Mr Smyth told RTÉ radio’s News at One that the cyberattack remained a live criminal investigation for the Northern Ireland police force who will determine what has been stolen.
Increasingly cyberattackers were targeting data storage facilities rather than organisations directly, he said.
The people who were the users of the support organisations had shared their data with those organisations. “I can understand that they would be very worried and worried that they have shared the most confidential, intimate information".
The abuse support organisation One in Four had earlier said they did not believe that detailed case notes had been compromised.
He said:“They believe that the most likely form of attack would be a financial attack. So somebody using your name and address to try to obtain your bank account details or to try to deceive you into believing that they came from the charity organisation themselves”.
Mr Smyth cautioned that the investigation was at an early stage and that some of the information circulating was untrue
The nature of the attack was likely to be financial and the numbers impacted would be “a very small proportion”.
When asked if there was a role for the Data Protection Commissioner in the investigation into the breach, Mr Smyth, said yes there was, but he did not know if it would be the Irish Commissioner as the breach occurred in Northern Ireland.
“We're asking people to be cautious about somebody who sent you an email or a text pretending to be from One and Four or from another organisation saying ‘I want your credit card number’.”