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High Court Allows Service via Dark Net

Munster Technological University (MTU) was granted an interim injunction against a group of hackers, believed to be based in Russia.

The hackers launched a cyber-attack on MTU’s IT system. They issued a ransom note demanding the payment of a significant amount of money to prevent them from publishing staff and students’ confidential information.

The injunction prevents the hackers from publishing, making available to the public, or sharing any of MTU’s confidential material.  It also requires the hackers or any other person in possession of the confidential data to hand over any such material they may have to MTU.

Service of the Court Order

As with other cases where the defendants are “persons unknown” and cannot be located, the High Court (Court) had to consider how the court order could be served on the defendants. Mr Justice Simons granted an order allowing MTU to serve notice of the court’s order on the defendants via the dark net webpage where the ransom note was posted.

This decision follows a recent order from the UK High Court allowing service of proceedings against a group of crypto fraudsters through Non-Fungible Token (NFT).  We discussed this decision in our recent Article “Air Drop – UK Court Allows Service of Proceedings Through NFT“.


The decision of the Court illustrates the willingness of the Irish courts, like the courts in the UK, to adapt to our new online reality. It represents a significant step forward for victims of ransomware cyber-attacks, where the defendants cannot be easily identified or located.


Contributed by Alexandra Drummy & Kate Abell