August 8, 2016
Garda Síochána (Gaelic Irish for “the Guardian of the Peace”), which is Ireland’s National Police service, has said it was at the receiving end of a cyber-attack, following which they had to shut down several IT computer systems to prevent attackers from gaining access to sensitive information.
The attack took place last Thursday, on August 4, but it was only disclosed to the public on Sunday, after authorities dealt with the intrusion.
According to local news media, police officials explained the attack was carried out with a new strain of malware that the police IT security team had never seen before.
Garda officials claimed the attackers did not manage to steal anything from their servers. This was possible because the IT staff managed to shut down the targeted computer systems in time before data was exfiltrated.
The Irish National Police servers, just like the ones belonging to any other law enforcement organization, hold information on ongoing investigations, staff members, and the general public.
Authorities did not indicate whom they suspected for the attack. A Garda spokesperson gave the Irish Independent the following statement:
“(After the threat was recognised) heightened security procedures were implemented and standard protocols were enforced across all Garda ICT environments to limit any effect on our systems. Working with security experts the threat was identified and an appropriate solution was implemented across all Garda Siochana ICT systems.”