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Cabinet To Be Briefed On Cyber Attack Fallout

Cabinet To Be Briefed On Cyber Attack Fallout

A spokesperson for the Department of Health said it was not aware of any "similar incidents at this time" in healthcare organisations in Northern Ireland.

Our Lady's Hospital, in Crumlin, and the Rotunda Maternity Hospital are understood to have been among the major centres which were targeted by hackers who tried to infect their computer systems with the WannaCry ransomware.

Mr Cobridge said that "all [HSE] clinical services and computer systems have been protected from the virus and no data or information was compromised as a result of the attempted cyber attack". The threat involved around 20 machines that were isolated and disinfected yesterday. It is understood that hospitals in the Midlands, including Portlaoise, have been the targets of previous ransomware viruses. The issues were not related to the ransomware cyber attack, and affected two administrative computers that did not hold patient records.

Detective Chief Inspector Douglas Grant, head of PSNI Cyber Crime Centre, said: "While no incidents have been reported in Northern Ireland as yet, we do expect further infections to come to light globally over the next week and we can not rule out the possibility that local systems may be vulnerable".

The machines include computers in the HSE. Modern versions such as Windows 10 are much less vulnerable. "It's the smaller businesses and some large organisations like hospitals with specialised machines that are getting caught".

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The computer statistics from Statcounter come as the Wannacry ransomware epidemic continues to threaten global PC systems.

"In many cases they're running critical functions that are very expensive", he said. At least 200,000 computer systems around the world have been infected so far.

On Tuesday afternoon the HSE took the decision to begin reinstating internal email access among staff, from 1 pm email servers which were offline were rebooted to activate antivirus security upgrades.

"If anyone has reported a child protection concern to Tusla by email since Friday evening, please be advised that this may not have been received".

She asked anyone with a child protection concern to log on to the tusla.ie website where they will obtain details of how to contact their local social work duty team.

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