NI computer networks 'may be infected' by virus

The HSE is hoping to reconnect its internal IT network to the outside later this morning after four days of being disconnected out of fears of infection with the WannaCry ransomware virus.

Yesterday afternoon, the HSE also confirmed that nearly all the 1,200 servers that were rebooted to allow an anti-virus update to take effect were back online.

The executive says any significant disruption to patient services is not anticipated and business continuity processes are in place to protect the delivery of patient care.

He said the HSE leadership team will meet on Tuesday to discuss if they can restore external communications from outside the HSE network by Wednesday.

Update 9.10am: The Cabinet will be briefed on the fallout from the global cyber virus attack later.

Richard also said that these is an ongoing problem and he is urging all HSE employees to adhere to their "Think Before You Click" advice.

"We have been lucky in that we have been upgrading our computers and hardware, particularly in the last few years".

The organisation's thought to have targeted Sony Pictures in 2014.

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The situation in Ireland is being monitored by the National Cyber Security Centre in the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.

Businesses are on high alert this morning following fears a massive computer virus could spread to Ireland.

The Irish Independent understands Our Lady's Hospital in Crumlin and the Rotunda Maternity Hospital are believed to be among the facilities battered by hackers who tried to infect their Windows computer systems with the WannaCry ransomware.

A spokeswoman said that due to the threat its inward email system had been frozen - which means it has not received any notifications of child protection concerns via email since Friday.

"As people return to work tomorrow after the weekend, many will have unopened, potentially infected emails in their inboxes, or their systems may already be infected and are waiting to activate".

HSE officers said that they were able to isolate the 20 affected systems quickly from the rest of the network.

"We would also recommend that businesses and industries join the local Cyber Information Sharing Partnership (CISP) so they can receive the most up to date threat and mitigation information to help protect their cyber security".

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