Over recent days there has been attacks on various IT networks, including the Blacknight website and cloud hosting company and also the HSE, resulting with the HSE having to shut down their network as a precaution.
There is a significant ransomware attack on the HSE IT systems. We have taken the precaution of shutting down all of our IT systems in order to protect them from this attack and to allow us fully assess the situation with our own security partners.
The 2 attacks were a day apart, and Blacknight are reporting the 2 attacks are individual events and are not related.
These attacks are designed to look for specific vulnerabilities in online defence and security systems and are aimed at stealing information, then looking for a ransom to allow the network to be used again.
The Blacknight attack was a little different, instead of the ransom attack, it was a DDoS attack (Denial of Service). This attack is simply to cause annoyance and disruption rather than the stealing of information.
To prevent attacks like these, there are steps you can follow:
- Secure your network – Combine firewalls, anti-spam filters and VPNs to give your best defence
- Make use of the cloud – Cloud-based apps can absorb harmful or malicious traffic before it ever reaches its intended target
- Know the signs of attack – Knowing the early signs of attack can give you the upper hand and enable you to lock down your defences as quickly as possible. Early signs include, slow connectivity, intermittent network shut downs and general poor performance.