Ireland’s health care system taken down after ransomware attack

St. Vincent's University Hospital in Dublin, Ireland.

Enlarge / St. Vincent’s University Hospital in Dublin, Ireland. (credit: Bloomberg | Getty Images)

Ireland has shut down most of the major IT systems running its national health care service, leaving doctors unable to access patient records and people unsure of whether they should show up for appointments, following a “very sophisticated” ransomware attack.

Paul Reid, chief executive of Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE), told a morning radio show that the decision to shut down the systems was a “precautionary” measure after a cyberattack that impacted national and local systems “involved in all of our core services.”

Some elements of the Irish health service remain operational, such as clinical systems and its COVID-19 vaccination program, which is powered by separate infrastructure. COVID tests already booked are also going ahead.

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