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Demands issued HSE hackers threaten to release data if $20m ransom is not paid by Monday

The cybercriminals who targeted the HSE’s network issued a message that they would imminently release or sell patient data if the ransom is not paid.


Cybercriminals have today threatened to release the data by Monday if the ransom is not paid. 

It comes as it was announced that a ‘crimeline’ is to be established by the Government for public reports of contacts from strangers with hacked HSE material.

The cybercriminals who targeted the HSE’s network issued a message that they would imminently release or sell patient data if the ransom is not paid.

Hackers told representatives of the HSE that if they couldn’t reach an agreement soon, “we will start to sell and publish your data” on May 24, according to Bloomberg.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan made the revelation about the hotline in the Dáil this lunchtime.

“We are going to establish a hotline, a confidential Crimeline type system, whereby people — if they are in any way approached by anyone claiming that they have medical or other relevant data — can report that,” he said.

He said the Government was also contacting “our social media companies” to ask for swift action “if anyone is propagating any of this information, which is most sensitive, typically on the dark web or other such sites.”

It was essential “that we do not further the propagation, and we do not share” If we do not do so, further harm and damage would be done,” he said.

Leaks or dumps of such material was “a real possibility,” Mr Ryan said. “It’s impossible to stop. ”The Government Information Service will be providing detail on the phoneline later, he added, warning however about the proliferation of rumour.

“We have to be careful about some of the rumours around this,” he said, without giving details. “ It's full of subterfuge and all sorts of unknown, but if anyone is approached this crimeline will give people secure, safe advice in terms of what they need to do.”

He added: “ That advice will give us information on the information that’s becoming published.”

He as answering Labour Party leader Alan Kelly, who said people need to see a plan.

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“What are people who are watching here today to do when they have questions, or those working for the HSE,” Mr Kelly had earlier asked. “We need an information line, we need information online.

“This has turned rapidly into a national security crisis for our country. I presume a VAPT, or Vulnerability Assessment Penetration Test is being organised by the NCSC (National Cybersecurity Centre) across all State bodies and State departments to ensure that they're not hacked as well.”

Jennifer Whitmore of the Social Democrats said Túsla had been hacked as well, and there were fears of details about at-risk children being leaked to the internet and published on the dark web.

She asked about the child protection risks, and the impacts on Túsla, adding: “There are a whole range of different issues of real concern.”

Mr Ryan said Túsla systems had been connected to HSE networks, and the Government was looking to contain the release of such information. “We already doing that.

“But it's impossible to stop that completely, if someone has the data.

“There are a whole range of different sites, so you cannot completely stop that. But we can minimise and protect to the best of our ability by reducing the sharing of information.”

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