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Summary minutes of Council meetings, recently posted on its website, document how its ICT department became aware of the attempted action, which was “part of a larger attack on Government websites”.
The ICT department took “appropriate steps” to protect the Council’s website and it remained fully accessible, according to summary minutes of a Council meeting held on 3-4 February last.
The regulator’s CEO Mr Bill Prasifka “informed Council that he was satisfied that there was no unauthorised access to our data or compromise of our website. The CEO assured Council that this matter will be reviewed going forward”, noted the minutes.
A spokesperson for the Council stated that between 21-22 January, a “high number” of Irish Government and related websites were targeted by a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.
“This included the Medical Council’s website,” the spokesperson told the Medical Independent. “These attacks work by directing a high volume of traffic to the targeted websites, with the objective of using up available bandwidth to render them inaccessible to legitimate users.”
They continued: “While we cannot give exact details of measures taken for security purposes, the Medical Council’s website and associated systems are kept under ongoing review and are regularly audited and tested by accredited vendors and external experts to ensure best practice is adhered to. Please note that the Medical Council uses an industry-leading third party payment processor for online transactions and as such does not retain any financial information directly.”