Continuing Attack on Ireland’s HSE and Threatened Patient Data Release

Following on a “pre-determined” plan for cyber-attacks, Ministers met Tuesday to discuss the ongoing efforts to restore the country’s health care system according to Ireland’s RTE public network. The Government continues to push back against the ransomware attack on the HSE, refusing to meet payment demands and condemning any release of patient data as “utterly contemptible.

Experts Comments

May 19, 2021
Saryu Nayyar
CEO
Gurucul

This is yet another troubling ransomware attack on the healthcare industry. Medical records hold highly sensitive personal data that can be used to socially engineer money from fragile patients who are not cyber savvy like the elderly, not to mention the obvious identity theft. The fact that the Irish government will not give in to the attacker's demands is a sign that they are confident they have backups to sufficiently restore their systems and data. That's goodness. But the cybercriminals

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This is yet another troubling ransomware attack on the healthcare industry. Medical records hold highly sensitive personal data that can be used to socially engineer money from fragile patients who are not cyber savvy like the elderly, not to mention the obvious identity theft. The fact that the Irish government will not give in to the attacker's demands is a sign that they are confident they have backups to sufficiently restore their systems and data. That's goodness. But the cybercriminals will likely publicize their stash of sensitive patient health data just because they can and they're evil. Usually, the ransom price is determined by the amount of cybersecurity insurance the victim organization has. Perhaps the Irish government doesn't have cybersecurity insurance? In this case it doesn't matter since Conti is known to operate on the basis of "double extortion" attacks, so the data would be made public anyway. It's frustrating all around.

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