Gardaí have said they have "significantly disrupted" the IT infrastructure of the cyber crime group which targeted the HSE earlier this year.

The Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau has seized several domains used in the HSE cyber attack and other ransomware attacks.

Gardaí said this seizure has directly prevented a large number of further ransomware attacks across the world.

What happens now is that if somebody is directed to websites based on these domains, they will see a Garda Síochána splash screen which notifies them that their IT system may have been compromised by ransomware and that will allow them to take appropriate security measures.

In May, the HSE was hit with a "significant" ransomware attack on some of its systems and was forced to shut down all of its IT systems.

The ransomware attack was focused on accessing data stored on central servers.

An Garda Síochána is also working with Europol and Interpol to provide details of the URLs to member countries so that infected systems can be decontaminated.

The Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau said 753 attempts to access the infected domains have been made and it believes its actions have prevented a 'conti ransomware attack' in each of these cases.

However, cyber security experts have warned that while this might disrupt the cyber criminals' operations it would not put them out of business as they are very adept at setting up domains and websites.

A conti ransomware attack is when a server or equipment is encrypted and a ransom is then demanded.

Detective Inspector Brian Halligan of the Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau said the garda operation has directly prevented further ransomware attacks.

However he said: "That is not to say criminals won't evolve and change."

Mr Halligan explained that they have been conducting an investigation into the HSE cyber attack since it occurred in May.

He said one aspect was looking at the technical devices used by criminals and that infrastructure is now in the control of gardaí.

He explained how this stops the criminals from gaining control or access to victims' computers.

He said the servers gardaí have located are in various countries around the world and that they worked very closely with law enforcement agencies including Europol on this.

He said it is an ongoing investigation into the HSE attack and finding those responsible. He said they are "making steady progress without going into too much details".

He added that they are determined to work with their international colleagues to target these criminals creating havoc.