The Irish health service shut down its computer systems after what it described as a “major ransomware attack”.
The head of the Republic’s health service (HSE) said he had shut down his entire computer network as a “precaution”.
It said COVID-19[female[feminine vaccination appointments were unaffected by the cyberattack and went as planned.
Critical emergency of the rotunda
Due to a serious computer glitch, all outpatient visits are canceled today – unless you are 36 weeks pregnant or later. All gynecological clinics are canceled today.
If you have urgent issues, please introduce yourself as usual.
Further updates will follow.
– Rotunda Hospital (@RotundaHospital) May 14, 2021
“There is a significant ransomware attack on HSE computer systems,” the HSE said on Twitter.
“We have taken the precaution of shutting down all of our computer systems in order to protect them from this attack and to allow us to fully assess the situation with our own security partners.”
He added: “We apologize for the inconvenience to patients and the public and will provide further information as it becomes available.
“Unaffected vaccinations are continuing as planned.”
Dublin’s Rotunda Maternity Hospital has been forced to cancel many routine appointments due to IT issues in what it has called a “critical emergency”.
“Due to a serious computer glitch, all outpatient visits are canceled today – unless you’re 36 weeks pregnant or later,” the hospital tweeted.
He said all gynecological clinics were canceled on Friday.
In a tweet, the hospital added: “If you have any urgent concerns, please introduce yourself as usual.”
The country’s national ambulance service said it was unaffected and had no impact on emergency calls.
HSE chief executive Paul Reid told national broadcaster RTE: “It’s a very sophisticated attack, not just the standard
“This has an impact on all of our national and local systems which would be involved in all of our basic services.
“Fortunately, the vaccination program is continuing, it is a separate system.”
Mr Reid said the attack largely affected information stored on central servers, not hospital equipment.
Ransomware attacks typically involve the infection of computers with malware, often downloaded by clicking
on seemingly harmless links in emails or other website pop-ups.
Users are banned from their systems, with the demand for a ransom to be paid to restore computer functions.
They differ from a data breach or other types of hacking, which can steal large batches of customer data or other information from companies or individuals.