HSE cyber attack: Gang threatens to release data if ransom not paid by Monday

ireland
Hse Cyber Attack: Gang Threatens To Release Data If Ransom Not Paid By Monday
HSE chief executive Paul Reid. © PA Media
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The criminal gang responsible for last week's cyberattack on the HSE's IT systems is threatening to release the stolen data online if the ransom demanded is not paid by Monday, May 24th.

The gang asked for $20 million in bitcoin, according to The Irish Times, however, the Government and the HSE have both stated it will not be paid, in line with State policy.

Speaking to RTÉ's News at One, acting Minister for Justice Heather Humphreys said no ransom request has been directly received by the Government, but reaffirmed if a request was made it would not be paid.

HSE chief executive Paul Reid said if the ransom was paid, Irish authorities would be giving money to a group who could then use the funds to further strengthen their hacking capabilities.

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International news agency Bloomberg has reportedly seen a communication from the Russian-speaking gang, stating the deadline of next Monday for the ransom to be paid.

Redacted versions of some documents, reportedly accessed via the cyberattack, appeared on the darkweb earlier this week.

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Gardaí believe this was an attempt to increase public pressure on the HSE and Government to pay the ransom - a move that was expected, based on similar cyberattacks around the world according to garda sources.

Some of the documents released by the gang related to patient information, while others appeared to be commercial, relating to contracts between the HSE and its partners and suppliers.

The Minister for Transport and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has also confirmed the Government is working to establish a system in order to allow people to report if their data has been published, the details of which will be provided later, he said.

Ms Humphreys said, in the meantime, anyone who is contacted about their personal data should contact gardaí immediately.

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