After hacking data of thousands of patients in Finland, an investigation is now open -

Isopix / SIPA

The Finnish government will hold a crisis meeting in the week, he announced Sunday evening, after the personal files of thousands of psychotherapy patients were stolen and some published by hackers, against a background of blackmail.

Police say “thousands” of patients have already filed complaints, and many said they had received emails demanding $ 200 in bitcoin to prevent content from their discussions with therapists from being broadcast.

At the same time, mental health and victim support associations said on Monday they were inundated with calls from people fearing that their conversations with their therapist would be made public.

An "unusual" leak

These data were stolen from the private company Vastaamo, which operates 25 psychotherapy centers across the Nordic country with a population of 5.5 million.

"We are investigating, among other charges, an aggravated security breach and extortion," Robin Lardot, head of the judicial police, told a press conference on Sunday, adding that the number of patients affected could reach several tens of thousands.

For its part, the Vastaamo company said it was "extremely sorry" at the situation, while security experts told the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper that a 10 gigabit heavy file containing private exchanges between therapists and their patients had appeared on the black canvas.

This leak has caused consternation in the country.

The government met on Sunday to discuss how to support patients whose data has been leaked.

Another case

“It is absolutely clear that people are rightly worried not only for their own safety and health, but also for that of those close to them,” Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo told reporters on Sunday evening.

For Mikko Hypponen, data security specialist, this leak is "very unusual".

According to him, only one other case of such blackmail is known to date: in 2019, a facial reconstruction clinic in Florida had a "smaller amount" of data stolen.

The Home Secretary also said the Finnish Social Services Regulatory Authority had ordered Vastaamo to provide her with details of her data breach practices and how she complied. responsibilities.


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