Garda expect ‘avalanche’ of fraud claims following hacker data release | #government | #hacking | #cyberattack


Gardaí are preparing for an “avalanche” of fraud once the cybercriminals who attacked the Health Service Executive release the stolen patient data this week, as they have promised to do.

The gang behind the cyber attack had given the Government until today to pay a €16.4 million ransom to stop it publishing or selling what it claims is 700 gigabytes of stolen data.

The Government had repeatedly insisted there would be no ransom. Security sources said yesterday that this position had not changed and that there was no communication between the State and the hackers.

Garda sources said they believed the gang would follow through on its threat, although they stressed there was no way to know for sure.

They pointed to the unpredictable conduct of the gang so far, including their unexpected release of a decryption key which the officials say will speed up the restoration of HSE systems after the attack.

It is believed the gang may drip-feed the stolen data on to the web over several days or weeks in an effort to increase pressure on the Government to pay a ransom.

‘Real risk’

The Government appeared to accept the release of data is likely. In a statement yesterday it said there is “sadly, is a real risk of patients’ data being abused in this way.”

It is hoped a court order obtained by the HSE last week will reduce the spread of such data by putting the major tech companies on notice of their obligation to remove any such material from their platforms.



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