Finland’s interior minister summoned an emergency meeting Sunday after the private Finnish psychotherapy center Vastaamo suffered a security breach that caused the exposure of patient records. To worse the situation the hackers now demanding ransoms threatening to leak the stolen data.
Vastaamo operates as a sub-contractor for Finland’s public health system, according to the authorities, the hackers have stolen patient sensitive data during two attacks that started almost two years ago.
Finnish Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo tweeted that authorities would “provide speedy crisis help to victims” of the security breach at the Vastaamo psychotherapy center, an incident she called “shocking and very serious.”
The Finnish Interior Minister Ohisalo defined the attack “shocking and very serious” and expressed the commitment of the authorities in providing “speedy crisis help to victims.”
President Sauli Niinisto called the blackmailing “cruel” and “repulsive,” while Prime Minister Sanna Marin added that such kind of attacks is “shocking in many ways.”
The attacker that goes online with the moniker ’ransom_man’ has already leaked 300 patient records containing names and contact information and is blackmailing the victims that received emails from the hackers.
“It was not immediately clear if the stolen information included diagnoses, notes from therapy sessions or other potentially damaging information. Also, it wasn’t clear why the information was surfacing only now.” reported the Associated Press.
According to a statement published by Vastaamo on Saturday, the first attack likely took place between the end of November 2018 and March 2019.
The National Bureau of Investigation is investigating the incident and revealed that the data breach may have impacted up to “tens of thousands” of the Vastaamo clients.
“What makes this case exceptional is the contents of the stolen material,” Marko Leponen, the National Bureau of Investigation’s chief investigator assigned to the case, told reporters.
Vastaamo urged clients who were contacted by the intruders to immediately contact Finnish police.
Finnish media reported that crooks are demanding ransoms of 200 euros worth of Bitcoin, the ransom amount will increase up to 500 euros if the victim will not pay it within 24 hours. Crooks also attempted to directly blackmail Vastaamo asking for a 450,000 euros ransom.
(SecurityAffairs – hacking, Vastaamo)