24 May 2022

Cyberattacked Coombe hospital is closely linked to Portlaoise hospital maternity unit

HSE data "does appear to have been displayed on the Darknet" - Health Minister

A big Dublin maternity hospital that is closely linked to Portlaoise hospital's maternity unit has had to lock down its computer systems due to a cyber attack.

The Coombe Women & Infants University Hospital confirmed on Thursday, December 16 that its IT system was attacked.

"We can confirm that the Coombe has been the subject of a cyberattack overnight. We wish to reassure all accessing our services that services are continuing as normal. We have locked down our IT systems on a precautionary basis and are working with the HSE to resolve this matter," it said.

The Coombe is part of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group which also includes Portlaoise, Tullamore, Naas and St James's and Tallaght in Dublin.

The Coombe and Portlaoise hospital are closely linked due to the shared maternity service network set up in recent years. 

The HSE said its teams are working with the Coombe.

"We are aware of a ransomware attack on IT systems at the Coombe.  This has impacted several systems in the hospital.  HSE teams are working with colleagues in the Coombe and have disconnected the facility from the National Health Network. 

"At this point we have not seen evidence of an impact external to the Coombe Hospital but we are continuing, with external support, to assess whether there is any broader impact.  We will share further information as we have it," the HSE said.

Its the second big attack on the Irish health service in a year. The entire service was hit earlier in 2021.

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