Criminals charge €500 in Bitcoin to patients after hacking Finnish healthcare company

2. November 2020 - Bitcoin

1% of the Finnish population recently received a message with the following requirement: Your psychotherapy data will be published unless you transfer €500 in Bitcoin (BTC) within 48 hours.

All this has to do with a big hack of the Finnish psychotherapy center Vastaamo. During this hack, data of tens of thousands of patients were stolen. Criminals are now threatening to share their data. Forbes reports this.
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Leaked data

The criminals have already shared various patient data with the outside world. The reason? There was no payment. Many victims went to the Finnish police after the news came out.

Vastaamo has 25 treatment centers in Finland and holds data for about 1% of the population. And the same goes for the people behind this threat.

Forbes reports that many victims received the threat with a simple requirement: pay €500 in BTC and we will keep your medical details secret.
Role of bitcoin

Bitcoin is a way to send and accept payments anywhere in the world. It allows you to bypass payments through traditional banking traffic. BTC is neutral and does not look at who the user is or what his/her intentions are.

It is simply a handy tool in these kinds of situations.

Measures

Maria Ohisalo, Minister of the Interior, also responds to the big hack. She gives on her website to anyone who needs help with their mental health that should be able to get it without fear.

The national intelligence services are working together on this case.

Vastaamo came across the data breach after an internal investigation. Probably hackers already gained access to their database in November 2018.

Various Finnish authorities are now going to investigate whether Vastaamo has and had the right security.

The risks

Collecting large amounts of (sensitive) data is a risk. You become a target for hackers and you may therefore wonder whether these types of parties need to collect all the data. Especially if it turns out that this data is not protected well enough.

An example from the bitcoin industry is a hack at the hardware manufacturer Ledger that leaked millions of people’s customer data. Criminals are now using that data leak: Bitcoin thieves send text messages and emails to owners of Ledger wallets.