Europe

Irish government websites temporarily offline due to cyber-attack

Person typing computer code Image copyright Reuters
Image caption It is understood that what is being called a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) began on Thursday evening

Several Irish government websites were temporarily forced offline on Friday by an apparent cyber-attack.

Those affected included Central Statistics Office, the Courts Service, the Health Service Executive, and the Houses of the Oireachtas (parliament).

It is understood that what is being called a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) began on Thursday evening.

To date no group has claimed responsibility.

Earlier this week, the National Lottery's website and retail terminals were knocked offline by a similar cyber-attack.

DDoS attacks involve a server hosting a website being flooded with service requests by the attacker, until it becomes unable to cope and the site drops offline.

They generally do not lead to security being compromised.

All of the sites that were affected are now back up and running.

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