Irish government websites targeted by cyber attack

A number of Irish Government departments and agencies have been the victims of a targeted cyber-attack that led to websites being shut down.

The departments of finance, justice, and defence and the Central Statistics Office were among the state bodies disrupted, as was the HSE.

Earlier in the week, the Irish Lottery’s website and connected retail terminals were taken offline following a similar attack.

The websites were forced offline by a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, where servers were flooded by masses of online traffic. Various media outlets are reporting that the attacks began last Thursday evening and continued into Friday.


Investigation launched

At the time of writing no group had claimed responsibility for the attack and the Office of the Government Chief Information Office has launched an investigation into the attack. This will involve a special cybercrime investigative unit from the Department of Communications

Sources in government departments were quoted in Irish newspapers as saying there had been no security or data privacy breaches. Problems sending and receiving emails were reported by government departments.

The attack has reportedly prompted officials to review the protection of their internet systems.

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