Hacker hand shadow

Deadline day comes for HSE data dump

Hackers threaten to start releasing masses of patient information
Image: StockXpert

24 May 2021

Today marks the deadline given by hackers based in Eastern Europe for the health service executive to pay a ransom or have 700GB of its data published on the Dark Web. Last week the hackers handed over a decryption key it claimed can restore access to vital systems. HSE chief executive Paul Reid confirmed that a key had been handed over and that it was being subjected to rigorous testing before it could be used on the 2,000 systems and 4,000 servers that may have been compromised.

A report in the Financial Times showed evidence that medical and personal records of 12 patients were revealed in a chat between hackers calling themselves ‘ContiLocker Team’ and an unidentified party.

Reid had warned that restoring HSE systems could take weeks at a cost of ‘tens of millions’ of euro. The public has been warned of scammers using stolen data to contact them with the promise refunds on past treatments subject to handing over details of their bank accounts.




Security experts have warned that any published information would retain value for years after release.

Speaking on Today with Claire Byrne the Taoiseach Micheal Martin said there was “no great evidence yet of any mass dumping of data”.

He added: “If anybody comes across any data, if you see it don’t share it… report it to the Gardai”.

Martin agreed that investment in cybersecurity had increased but admitted that “far more” needed to be done.

At time of writing there is no evidence of any additional data being released or sold.

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