May 15 2021
Welcome to our tech news roundup – this is the place where we keep you up to date on the latest technology happenings, cybersecurity news, and more. Here’s what’s going on in the tech world today:
Colonial Pipeline has paid ransomware gang Darkside almost $5 million
Over the weekend, Colonial Pipeline fell victim to a cyber-attack. This would have been pretty run of the mill stuff, if it wasn’t for the fact that this pipeline major fuel supplier to America’s east coast – causing huge fuel shortages, and having potential geopolitical consequences. The story quickly became global news, with the hackers in question – the DarkSide ransomware group – actually apologising for the unrest they caused.
Obviously though, they weren’t sorry enough to stop what they were doing entirely and give Colonial Pipeline access and control of its systems. While the organisation initially said it wouldn’t be paying any ransom, they’ve since relented and coughed up an eyewatering $5 million to the cyber-criminals. Read more here.
Ransomware is affecting healthcare providers across the Republic of Ireland
Ireland’s health service has had to temporarily shut down its IT systems, following a significant ransomware attack on hospitals up and down the country. This is the latest in a long string of cyber-attacks against healthcare providers worldwide. While the health service released a statement telling patients to expect some clinics to close and for there to be delays and disruptions at others, Covid-19 vaccinations are still taking place.
The Health Service’s Chief Executive had this to say: “The HSE has taken all precautionary measures to shut down a lot of its major systems to protect them. We are working with all of our major IT security providers and the national security cyber team are involved and being alerted, so that would be the major state supports including the police, the defences forces, and third party support teams,” Read more here.
Research shows that the NHS’s contact-tracing app has been a real life-saver
A report has been published in academic journal Nature, revealing that the NHS contact-tracing app prevented hundreds of thousands of cases of Covid-19, and thousands of deaths. Between the app’s launch in late September, until the end of 2020, the app was regularly used by over 16 million people and sent out 1.7 million exposure notifications after over half a million app users tested positive for the virus.
The researchers involved in the paper had this to say: “on average, each confirmed case who consented to notification of their contacts through the app prevented one new case.” Read more here.
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