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|Posted: Sun Sep 05, 2021 10:04 pm Post subject: HSE cyber-attack: Irish health service still recovering mont
|HSE cyber-attack: Irish health service still recovering months after hack
The first time Donna-Marie Cullen heard about a massive cyber-attack on Ireland's health system, it was on the morning news.
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The 36-year-old mother of two was waiting for her radiation treatment that afternoon for sarcoma, a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer.
"I thought this is an awful situation for the HSE [the Irish health system] to be in," she says.
"After that, I got a call at lunchtime and was told that my radiation wouldn't be going ahead because of the cyber-attack.
"I didn't realise the severity, how invasive and how horrific this attack was."
On 14 May, when the attack occurred, Ms Cullen was nearing the final stages of her treatment, having been diagnosed in September 2020.
"For the space of time when my radiation was paused, there was huge worry," she recalls.
Ransomware attacks involve a criminal group using a form of malware to gain entry to a system, encrypting important data and then demanding a payment in return for decrypting it.
The attack in May was unprecedented in the history of the Irish state, affecting almost every part of its healthcare system, already worn down by more than a year of fighting Covid-19.