The South-West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) is denying that it paid hackers millions of dollars to regain access to its data after a cyber attack on its system in October.
The authority denied a newspaper report that it was battling European hackers to save its system by paying US$7 million in bitcoin cryptocurrency to regain access to data.
In a statement the SWRHA said, “With certainty and clarity, the authority advises that no such demand for payment has been received or any negotiation entered into for data retrieval.”
It noted that it promptly informed the public of the October 23 incident, “which compromised our ability to access real time data.
“Sufficient data retrieval was accessed through back up manual sources, stored throughout the authority’s several locations to enable critical patient and employee services to continue.”
SWRHA said it is continuing to work assiduously with external partner agencies, TT Cyber Security Incident Response Team (TT-CSIRT) and the police, to ascertain “the true hacker.”
SWRHA is looking at November 20 to restore full operations to its vast automated system and promised to keep staff and public updated on its progress.
On October 23, the SWRHA’s information communications and technology (ICT) platforms suffered a cyber security incident at the hands of an unknown external party.
This resulted in a loss of connectivity and access to its information databases.
The SWRHA said at that time that the incident compromised its real-time access to its vast technological systems. However, it said there was minimal disruption.