Ireland on ‘high alert’ for dangerous Russian cyberattack as Simon Coveney warns of rise in threat | #malware | #ransomware

Ireland is on “high alert” for a dangerous Russian cyberattack, the Minister for Foreign Affairs has said.

Peace talks are currently taking place between Russian and Ukrainian officials, as the illegal invasion approaches it’s fourth week.

Over two million people have now fled Ukraine, with Ireland welcoming 5,500 refugees so far.

However, alongside the war has come an increase in cyberattacks across the EU.

Minister Simon Coveney explained that Ireland is now keeping track of the surge

He said: “We are certainly on high alert for cyberattacks right now,

“We know in the last two to three weeks, cyberattacks across the EU have increased by 20% to 25%.

“There seems to be a view that is held by a very small number of people that, by being neutral and staying out of conflicts like this that, all of a sudden, Ireland won’t be threatened.

“I think that is very naïve.” he told The Pat Kenny Show.

In March of last year, the HSE was hit by a ransomware attack by a group operating from Russia which caused havoc in Irish hospitals.

Appointments were cancelled, and crucial services like radiography treatments were also affected, while sensitive data of over 500 patients were leaked online by the hackers.

Minister Coveney added: “We know that in the middle of COVID, our health service was targeted – by non-state actors we understand, coming from east of the EU, probably in Russia.

“That cost an enormous amount of money to solve but importantly, it put people’s lives at risk during a very, very sensitive period.

“So, we know that Ireland along with all other EU countries can and will be targeted and we need to put as much fence in place as we can to respond to that and we are doing that.

“This is a constant threat which is why we need to continue to put money and resources and people into this area.”

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