Ireland Won’t Pay Ransom After Cyberattack On Health System

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Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE) has ruled out any possibility of caving into hackers’ demands following the ransomware attack on the country’s health and social care services, which led to the shutdown of many key systems.

The HSE said, “Following an initial assessment we know this is a variant of the Conti virus that our security providers had not seen before. A ransom has been sought and won’t be paid in line with state policy.”

Instead, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) recommends a clean-up strategy as the country appears to be recovering from the attack.

The remediation strategy involves containing the attack by isolating the hacked systems before all affected files are deleted, rebuilt, and updated.

The HSE will ensure that antivirus is up to date on all systems before using offsite backups to restore systems securely.

Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin said in a statement that the country would not pay a ransom.

He said, “We are dealing with this in accordance with the advice we received from cybersecurity experts and I think we’re very clear we will not be paying any ransom. So the work continues by the experts.”

While priority is given to key patient care systems some of which include, diagnostic imaging, laboratory systems, and radiation oncology, the HSE confirmed that it is in the process of assessing almost 2,000 patient-facing IT systems which each include multiple servers and devices to enable recovery in a controlled way.

For more information, read the original story in ZDNet.

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