After WannaCry scare, HSE plans to open servers to the world
Irish Sun - Thursday 18th May, 2017
Health Service Executive isolated its network fearing possible attack after ransomware struck 150 countries
HSE even detected ransomware in three Irish hospitals, but attack was not connected to Wannacry malware
The isolation was imposed for 48 hours as a protection against cyber attack
DUBLIN, Ireland - As the global ransomware attack using the WannaCry malware infected thousands of computer networks across the world, a cautious Health Service Executive decided to keep its network isolated from external communications.
The isolation that was imposed for 48 hours will now be lifted and staff will be able to have online access to the outside world.
Even as the HSE is hoping it won’t be releasing a floodgate of attacks from WannaCry ransomware as it reopens its servers to the outside world - the executive confirmed that a reboot of its servers took place on Tuesday to protect against WannaCry.
For the past few days as the isolation was imposed, staff were unable to access emails or perform any internet-related activities.
Now, in a statement, the HSE said, “While the vast majority are now fully functional again, HSE IT staff are continuing to provide support to allow for five servers to be brought back online. The identified problems were not related to any security or infection issues. Business continuity processes remain in place to protect the delivery of patient care.”
The executive further noted that its six national IT help desks will be providing support in the event of any WannaCry breaches.
Earlier this week, HSE had detected network infections at three Irish hospitals, it, however, clarified that the attack used an older ransomware, which was not linked to the global cyber scare that gripped over 150 countries across the world.
It immediately isolated the network and noted that the infections were detected as part of the sweep of systems being conducted by IT administrators in the hospitals.
The ransomware was subsequently removed and the systems were all back online.
HSE added that the detections show the level of vigilance that is being exercised by staff in the wake of the WannaCry outbreak.
The executive continued to install anti-virus software in around 1,500 devices that could be vulnerable to malware virus which has already struck the NHS.
In a tweet, HSE chief Tony O'Brien had said that he will extend the external shield for another forty eight hours.
The decision was expected to affect regular HSE business although the extent of patient disruption was not immediately known.
Reports meanwhile pointed out on Wednesday that the only affected HSE operation was in Wexford, where a community care unit – which was not connected to the HSE’s national servers – was infected with the virus.
The global cyber attack by WannaCry has infected over 300,000 computers in 150 countries since Friday.
Ireland has remained mostly unaffected by the global attack.
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