No ‘hard evidence’ of HSE cyberattack data published online – Minister
The government has “no concrete evidence” that sensitive information obtained in the cyberattack on the health service has been put online for the moment, as threatened, said the Minister of Justice and Employment Affairs , Heather Humphreys.
La Garda was making “good progress” in investigating the criminals being hacked into the Health Service Executive (HSE) computer network, which resulted in major disruption to hospitals and other health services.
Speaking outside government buildings on Wednesday, Ms Humphreys said: “We have no concrete evidence that anything has been uploaded.”
The cybercriminals had given the state a deadline of Monday to pay a ransom of $ 16.4 million, or they claimed they would publish or sell the HSE data on the dark web. Officials still believe it is likely that the data will be released or sold, as no ransom has been paid.
While no proven patient data has yet been released online by cybercriminals, there were “a lot of scammers out there by the minute,” Ms Humphreys said.
Fraudsters not connected to the cybercrime group are believed to be trying to take advantage of the confusion and fears surrounding high-level ransomware hacking.
“I know from the Welfare Department people are getting phone calls asking us to give us your PPS number. Don’t give any figures to anyone, we don’t want people to be scammed, ”Ms. Humphreys said.
“If you receive any calls regarding your HSE cases, please report it immediately to your local custodian,” the minister said.
“The more information the guards have on this issue, the better able they will be to deal with it and find the criminals, as they are making good progress,” she said.
Ms Humphreys called on the public to follow new guidelines established for the reopening of the interior dining room in bars and restaurants this summer.
According to guidelines published by Fáilte Ireland, restaurants and pubs must close at 11:30 p.m. and limit reservations to 105 minutes if tables are less than two meters apart.
“The majority of people adhere to the guidelines, but where necessary the guards have the power to enforce the regulations,” she said.
New guidelines for indoor dining, which do not require customers to purchase a € 9 meal as before, will be reviewed as the Covid-19 vaccination program continues to take effect, he said. she declared.
“It’s fair to say that we are revising all of these rules based on the vaccine rollout and the progress we are making,” she said.
The minister said the country was in a much “better position now” on Covid-19. “The vaccine is being rolled out, and we are certainly on the verge of having 80% of the population vaccinated by the end of June,” she said.
Cabinet will meet on Friday to discuss a plan for further easing of restrictions on Covid-19.
“Of course we would all like things to get back to normal as quickly as possible and we all yearn for that, but we have to do it in a safe way,” she said.
There would be no “reduction of the cliff edge” in pandemic income support, such as pandemic unemployment benefit (PUP), she said.
Ms Humphreys said she expects to present a plan to Cabinet in June that would establish the phased unwinding of Covid-19 income support plans.