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The HSE shut down its IT systems after a “significant ransomware attack”, what the HSE managing director described as a “serious incident” for the healthcare sector.

The HSE became aware of the attack during the night made and is currently contained by shutting down all national and local IT systems to protect them.

Paul Reid, CEO of HSE, said it was a “pretty nifty” attack, a “serious incident” for the HSE , and it is a “man-powered” cyber attack. He said information technology systems and data stored on and transferred between central servers are being targeted. “We are at a very early stage to fully understand the threat and its implications,” said Reid in Morning Ireland by RTÉ. He said there will be an update later in the morning on what the attack means for healthcare services.

“[At the moment] everyone should keep checking in [for hospital appointments] until they hear something different from us regarding the services affected. “

The Covid-19 vaccination program was not affected by the attack and people should attend these appointments as usual.

An HSE statement said,” It is a significant ransomware attack on the HSE IT systems. As a precaution, we shut down all of our IT systems in order to protect them from this attack and to be able to assess the situation comprehensively with our own security partners. “

The Rotunda Maternity Hospital in Dublin has canceled all non-urgent appointments and other hospitals are likely to be affected.

The Rotunda Hospital Master Professor Fergal Malone told Morning Ireland that the registration with electronic Patient records and the ability to access patient records are the problem.

He said a contingency plan has been put in place to revert to the “old-fashioned” paper-based system, but added that “throughput this way is a lot would be slower ”.

In a separate statement released this morning, a spokesman said: “Rotunda Maternity Hospital is experiencing a serious ransomware / cyber attack affecting all of the hospital’s electronic systems and records.

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“All appointments have been canceled for today, Friday, May 14th. The only exception is patients who are 36 weeks pregnant or older.

“Otherwise, you will be asked NOT to attend the rotunda unless it is an emergency. The rotunda will provide updated information as soon as possible. “

Devices in intensive care units and other independent infrastructures in hospitals are not affected by the IT attack.

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