Computers in three Irish hospitals found to contain old strand of ransomware

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Twenty machines in three Irish hospitals contained an older strand of the ransomware virus, it has emerged today.

HSE officers said that they were able to isolate the 20 affected systems quickly from the rest of the network.

The HSE said that the disruption to patient care has so far been minimal.

The news comes after the HSE decided to keep its network isolated from external communications for a further 48 hours as a protection against cyber attack.

This means that the organisation will not be accepting any external emails.

It is continuing to install anti-viral software in around 1,500 devices which could be vulnerable to the malware virus that has already struck the NHS in the UK.

It had been hoped that the network could be re-opened at 11am today but HSE chief Tony O'Brien has extended the isolation period.

The decision is expected to affect regular HSE business, although the extent of patient disruption is not yet known.

A HSE update on the situation has said that the ransomware detected in its machines is not connected to the current wave of attacks:

Eilish O'Regan