Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Justice and Equality, Jim O’ Callaghan has urged Irish Hospitals and Health Care facilities to remain vigilant following reports that they are now being targeted by international cyber criminals.

Interpol has issued a formal warning to Ireland alongside other European countries warning them of the threat of international cyber criminals looking to cash in on the current pandemic by targeting hospitals and health care facilities in elaborate online scams according to reports today.

Deputy O’Callaghan said: “We need to make sure that Hospitals and Health Care facilities are aware of these scams and threats from cyber criminals attempting to overpower IT security systems. Government must ensure that hospitals’ IT security is up to date and safe to avoid becoming a target in the current COVID-19 crisis.

“It is concerning that Ireland is among a number of European countries which could be targeted to extort payments. These criminals are ruthless and global cyber gangs have no empathy for the trail blazing efforts of frontline healthcare workers. The sole purpose of these criminals is to cash in on the current health crisis being experienced across the world

Criminals carrying out cybercrime attacks on organisations and individuals are using various malware packages to scam people. We need to become more vigilant of suspicious activities online. In particular hospitals should be on high alert following this warning from Interpol as any attack could have detrimental consequences in the current crisis we are facing,” concluded Deputy O’Callaghan.