Sunday 19 November 2017

Children's hospitals targeted by cyber gangs

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Eilish O'Regan and Adrian Weckler

A children's hospital and a maternity hospital in Dublin were targets of the cyber attack that infected government and healthcare systems around the world.

The Irish Independent has learned that Our Lady's Hospital in Crumlin and the Rotunda Maternity Hospital were among facilities where hackers tried to infect computer systems with the WannaCry ransomware.

Richard Corbridge, HSE chief operations officer, confirmed the attempts to attack computer systems across the health service in Ireland have been as "virulent" as in other countries.

Mr Corbridge declined to provide the names of hospitals which were targeted since Friday but said some of the major centres were assaulted. But sources have said that the children's hospital and maternity hospital were both targeted.

However, the HSE said the current ransomware virus, which is capable of spreading across a computer network, has not infected any device.

Experts believe that over 150,000 home, government and business PCs in Ireland are unprotected against ransomware. New figures show that up to 5pc of Irish PCs are running out-of-date Windows software, such as Windows XP, that is defenceless against cyber attacks.

Irish Independent

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