Finland hit by computer attack that endangers data of thousands of patients

Several psychotherapy patients have been affected by a computer attack.

An attack in which hackers stole personal information from his patients. This information is currently being used to blackmail the latter who have not failed to file a complaint.

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This situation has created a crisis situation at the top of the Finnish state. Computer hacking is unprecedented known by the state. At this point, the crisis meeting is becoming more and more ensegoing. The government, on the other hand, is trying to find a solution to this problem. Unfortunately for patients and others, anxiety is only getting more. Telephone standards are overflowing and thousands of complaints are being filed.

To tell the truth, computer hacking has taken place since November 2018. The company responsible for managing computer data in the health field, Namely, Vastaamo, has unfortunately leaked thousands of patient data contained in these computer systems, coming from some twenty psychotherapy centers across Finland. Cyber criminals had started since September threatened the company to disclose the information if the company did not agree to pay them a ransom. The authorities who had been contacted had also made it clear that the extortion attempt should not be made public, so as not to have a problem of obstructing the investigation.

However, everything will change when patients affected by this data leak have received messages from unknown persons asking them to pay sums of 500 euros in bitcoin, against the disclosure of their data. As for the company, Vastaamo, the ransom demand amounts to 450,000 Euros in bitcoin.

The rest is even more serious. Indeed, hackers, on a site hosted in the dark web, have already begun to publish quite sensitive data, in this case recordings of discussions between patients and therapists. The publication affects nearly 2,000 patients, including several children. Precise hackers subsequently possess the data of more than 40,000 people.

The Finnish authorities say they are shocked. Maria Ohisalo, the interior minister, called the act an "extremely serious violation." As for the President, Sauli Niinisto, he believes that this is not only cruel but also repugnant on the part of cyber criminals. Last Sunday, the government met to find a solution to this problem, a sign that the authorities are taking this matter extremely seriously.

On the police and ministries side, since Monday several centres have been opened to welcome victims and give them advice and support in the face of this situation. The advice they have given is not to pay the ransom demanded by cyber criminals.

The situation still frightened those directly affected. The fear of having his information, his therapy recordings leaked to push the victims to storm the standards of appeal. It should be noted that Finland is a country that is strongly affected by mental health problems. A situation as such has shaken patients' confidence in the system.

As if to ensure that, the head of the judicial police, Robin Lardot, stated: "We are investigating, among other charges, aggravated security breaches and extortion."

The company that was the victim of the cyberattack has publicly apologized. It announced that it had initiated internal investigations to determine responsibilities. It should already be noted that the company has indeed acknowledged deficiencies in its computer security. However, it admits that it has made up for its mistakes and now secures its data. Last Monday, the company's CEO was fired for allegedly knowing of a security breach revealed since 2019.

According to Mikko Hypponen, research director for Finnish cybersecurity firm F-Secure: "All IT security professionals are at work trying to find the attacker."

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