Irish government refuses to pay a ransom to HSE hackers despite gaining decryption tool

The Government recently announced that it will not pay a ransom to the hackers who stole data from the Irish Health Service Executive (HSE).

Indeed, it was reported that the Government has decided to maintain its position on not paying a ransom despite the criminals threatening to release the data online from next week. The information stolen includes personal information relating to patients and will be published on the darknet or sold to other criminals if the ransom is not paid, according to the cyberattackers.

The Government also stated that a decryption tool had been made available by the hackers to enable the HSE to unlock its IT systems and access encrypted files. The tool is described as an encouraging development but there is still work to do in order to restore the IT systems completely.

It was noted that even if the decryption tool worked, the HSE would continue to rebuild its IT infrastructure on its own to ensure that the systems are clean and not infected, but also to make sure that the criminals have not implemented malicious software.

However, other cybersecurity professionals who have tested the decryption tool, have declared that it was genuine. The reasons for the attackers to give that tool remain unclear and might mean they are ready to publish most of the data online.

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