Hackers have stolen confidential psychotherapy notes from tens of thousands of patients in Finland. Many of the patients have already been blackmailed by the hackers via e-mail. The Finnish government is in crisis mode.
Confidential notes from psychotherapy sessions of tens of thousands of patients have been stolen by hackers in Finland. Minister of the Interior Maria Ohisalo called the act on Monday “shocking”. The Finnish government already met for a crisis meeting on Sunday and plans further meetings later this week to find ways to support the victims. The data was probably stolen two years ago.
Many patients reported that they had been blackmailed by the hackers via e-mail. The authors called on those affected to transfer the equivalent of 200 euros in the digital currency Bitcoin – in return they would not put the sensitive data on the Internet. According to their own statements, the police are investigating, among other things, for serious extortion. Thousands of patients have already filed charges.
The Darknet contains notes from therapy sessions of at least 2000 patients
According to police reports over the weekend, data on tens of thousands of patients was stolen from the private psychotherapy provider Vastaamo. The company operates 25 therapy centers in the northern European country.
Experts for cyber security told the newspaper “Helsingin Sanomat” that a ten gigabyte file was circulating in the so-called Darknet. It contains notes from therapy sessions of at least 2000 patients.
The head of the affected company told the newspaper that Vastaamo had initiated an internal investigation. Among other things, it had revealed that the data had already been stolen two years ago. After November 2018, no more patient data had been released to the outside world.
Minister of the Interior Ohisalo explained that in Finland it must be possible to seek help for psychological problems without fear. The Finnish authorities set up a website for victims of the cyber attack on Monday, where they advise those affected not to communicate with the blackmailers.