Hackers Demand Ransom for Stolen Surgery Photos
More than 25,000 photos that were stolen from a Lithuanian cosmetic surgery clinic have been made public, after hackers initially demanded a ransom payment for them.
According to The Guardian, the hacking group “Tsar Team” broke into the servers of the Grozio Chirurgija clinic earlier this year, and demanded ransom payments in Bitcoin from the clinic’s clients in more than 60 countries around the world.
The group attempted to sell the entire database up for sale for 300 Bitcoin, but the clinic refused to pay. The full database has since been reduced to 50 Bitcoin, around £94,000.
Jonas Staikunas, director of Grozio Chirurgija, apologized to customers, saying that “Cyber-criminals are blackmailers. They are blackmailing our clients with inappropriate text messages.” Grozio Chirurgija clinic has warned patients on its website not to engage with the blackmailers, or download anything sent to them, for fear of further attacks. Any patient who is contacted by the hackers should inform the police immediately the clinic said.
Tim Erlin, VP of product management and strategy at Tripwire, said: “The idea of blackmailing individuals with disclosure of personal information certainly isn’t new, though this may be the first time that we’ve seen that tactic employed with personal medical data stolen as part of a cyber-attack.
“Healthcare providers, whether small or large, need to be aware of the threats they face from cyber-attack. Whether part of a large hospital system or a single clinic, the data these organizations have is valuable to criminals.”
Paul Calatayud, chief technology officer at FireMon, said: “Medical data is a particularly lucrative type of data for several reasons. First, and most importantly, medical data such as medical health records and personally identifiable data such as age, name and social security can be used to establish new credit, apply for medical insurance and commit fraud, as well as be used to expose medical conditions of famous people and heads of state. This information is also persistent, meaning it cannot be easily reset unlike a stolen credit card.”
Source: Information Security Magazine