LONDON (AP) — Ireland’s health service says it has shut down its IT systems after being targeted in a “significant ransomware attack.”
The Health Service Executive said Friday that the move is a precaution, and appointments for coronavirus vaccination have not been not affected.
It was unclear how wide the disruption to the health system was. Dublin’s Rotunda maternity hospital said it was canceling most routine appointments due to the IT issues, calling the situation a “critical emergency.”
“There is a significant ransomware attack on the HSE IT systems,” the Health Service Executive said on Twitter.
“We have taken the precaution of shutting down all our IT systems in order to protect them from this attack and to allow us to fully assess the situation with our own security partners.”
In the U.S., the nation’s largest fuel pipeline was hit with a ransomware attack a week ago. The disruption of the Colonial Pipeline caused long lines at gas stations due to distribution problems and panic-buying, draining supplies at thousands of gas stations. It restarted operations on Wednesday.
The attack highlighted concerns about the vulnerability of critical infrastructure to hacking groups and criminals.