“It Was Handy Enough” Meet The Man Who Hacked The HSE


WHIZZ KID IT security advisor Alan Hodgkins may look like your ordinary everyday pensioner, but on weekends the Waterford man likes to test government databases for fun.

“Bought this baby back at the turn of the century and still runs Windows ’98 like a dream,” the 84-year-old self-confessed hacker told WWN, before demonstrating how he manages to breach a range of networks containing vital personal information.

“I’m in the mainframe!” Hodgkin’s exclaimed, now showing this reporter how easy it was to break into an unnamed government system, much like the Covid-related database he breached in December of 2021 opening the details of more than a million people up to potential exploitation.

“Password was ‘Covid-19’, so once I was in, I immediately got onto the HSE to tell them they were vulnerable, as I’m not a bad hacker,” he added of the breach, which the HSE only reported to the Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) last week, some two years after the fact ‘because Ireland’.

“They’re nearly as fast-acting as my 56kps dial-up modem,” he pointed out, “good thing it was only the names, address and personal health details of over one million people or this would have been very embarrassing for them, especially after all the other hacking incidents since then.

“At least it wasn’t the details of anyone important, just normal everyday Joe Soaps during Covid at a time when all GDPR seemed to be thrown out the window anyway, so fair game as far as the government is concerned”.

In response the Minister of Defence Simon Coveney has increased the paper clip budget for the National Cyber Security Centre by €3.45.