Irish charity Rehab Group targeted by cyberattack

21 Mar 2022

Image: © valerybrozhinsky/Stock.adobe.com

Rehab Group said it deployed its full resources to bring affected systems back online and the attack appeared to be ‘contained’.

Disability services provider Rehab Group was recently hit with a cyberattack that targeted some of its systems.

The Dublin-based charity said in a statement on 16 March that it informed the Data Protection Commission about the attack and that it was working with cybersecurity experts to bring its systems back online.

Future Human

Rehab Group added that there was no evidence that any data has been accessed or that any financial loss had occurred as a result of the incident.

“The matter is now contained, with forensic investigation work underway and continuing through the weekend,” Rehab Group said last week.

“The people who use, work and live in our services are our number one priority. To date, there has been no disruption to services and we will work to ensure this remains the case,” the charity added.

Rehab Group also said it contacted the Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau and the National Cyber Security Centre to help bring its compromised systems back online. The charity also informed the HSE, its regulators and other stakeholders of the attack.

Rehab Group provides services to more than 10,000 people with disabilities every year and has more than 2,900 employees.

Cybercrime on the rise

The threat of cyberattacks has grown over the last two years, with incidents including the HSE ransomware attack in Ireland last year, the attack on the world’s largest meat producer, the cyberattack on a major US gas pipeline and, most recently, the wave of cyberattacks hitting Ukraine.

SonicWall’s latest cyberthreat report highlighted the variety of threats that increased to unprecedented levels in 2021, with ransomware attacks up 105pc and encrypted threats increasing 167pc.

The HSE cyberattack last May was said to be the most serious cyberattack ever to hit Ireland’s critical infrastructure. More than 80pc of IT infrastructure was affected and there were severe impacts on health services in the country.

The HSE is expected to start notifying thousands of people whose data was compromised in the coming weeks, the Business Post reported last week.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com