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The ransomware attack on the HSE on Friday morning caused major disruption as it required a shutdown of all IT systems.
No effort spared to resume medical services and restore HSE's system, statement says

The Government has said the cyber attacks on the State's health services are "despicable crimes" and "no effort is being spared" to resume medical services and restore the HSE's system.

It also said any public release of stolen patient data by the criminals behind the attack is "utterly contemptible". It said there is a risk that the medical and other data of patients will be abused and anyone who is affected is urged to contact the HSE and gardaí.

The remarks come after Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan met other ministers as well as representatives from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and HSE chief executive Paul Reid to discuss the impact of the ransomware cyberattack on the HSE.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly, Minister for Justice Heather Humphreys and Minister of State for Communications and eGovernment Ossian Smyth were also present.

The ransomware attack on the HSE on Friday morning caused major disruption as it required a shutdown of all IT systems and led to the cancellation of many out-patient appointments.

Efforts to restore the systems are ongoing, but it will likely be several days before services return to normal.

A Government statement after the meeting said the "main concern is to secure as speedy a resumption of all medical services as can possibly be achieved, consistent with ensuring that the HSE's system can be safely and robustly restored.

"No effort is being spared to achieve this," it said.

It said the Government is "adopting a determined and methodical approach to resolving the impact of this attack.

"All necessary resources and personnel are engaged in support of the HSE."

The response is being led by the NCSC in collaboration with the HSE, the Government's chief information officer and a specialist cybersecurity contractor.

It said that, in addition, a number of private sector cybersecurity experts have volunteered their support in recent days.

There is said to be "hundreds of people deployed to tackle this attack in accordance with the pre-determined plan for such cyberattacks" and "detailed technical work" is continuing to restore the HSE's IT infrastructure.

The Government said the HSE is "continuing to make the necessary arrangements in the interim to provide the maximum possible availability of services to patients across the State.

"While the process will, inevitably, take some time, the HSE and its partners are working to ensure that the maintenance and restoration of care for patients can progress in the coming days."

The details of the hospital services available and being restored will be updated by the HSE on its website on a regular basis.

The Government said: "This attack on Ireland's health care system and its patients was carried out by an international cybercrime gang.