Data leak: Hackers blackmail patients in therapy with private data on the disease


A psychotherapy clinic in Finland was the target of a hacker attack. Cybercriminals are now demanding money from victims so that their data remains secret.

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The Vastaamo psychotherapy clinic in Finland was attacked by a hacker.

The Vastaamo psychotherapy clinic in Finland was attacked by a hacker.


Several thousand patients are affected.

Several thousand patients are affected.


Their private data was stolen.

Their private data was stolen.


  • The hackers managed to evade the security precautions of a psychotherapy clinic in Finland.

  • They were able to steal the private medical records of several thousand patients.

  • Now the victims are being blackmailed.

  • Hackers give them a choice: either they pay a ransom or their data is posted on the darknet.

The data of several thousand patients in a psychotherapy clinic in Finland were stolen by hackers. According to CNN, this is Vastaamo, the largest private psychotherapy institute in the country. Approximately 40,000 patients are treated each year.

Stolen data should be personal information such as the patient’s name or email address, but also confidential notes created by the therapist during therapy. Records are said to date back to November 2018 and March 2019.

“Big Crisis”

Now the hackers have contacted some of the victims and are asking for money in the form of Bitcoin to prevent the stolen data from being made public. This is done via the patient’s private email address. In fact, around 300 patient records have already appeared on the Darknet and can be seen by everyone. Some of the victims are minors.

The institute speaks of a “great crisis” to be overcome. To this end, we work closely with local authorities and the Finnish police. An emergency number has also been set up where those affected can find advice. The clinic also offers a free therapy session, the content of which is not recorded or saved in any way.

Redeem in bitcoin

“I’m nervous because hackers have private notes and conversations from sessions with my psychiatrist,” one interested person, who wants to remain anonymous, told the BBC. One of the authors, who goes by the name of “The Ransom Guy”, told him and told him that Vastaamo refused to pay 40 Bitcoins (around 477,000 francs).

Then he asked the patient himself to transfer around 210 ransom francs in the form of Bitcoin. If this is not done within the next 24 hours, the sum will be raised to 540 francs. If he fails to make this payment, all private patient information must be published. “This information contains things that I’m not really ready to share with the world yet,” said the person concerned.

The CEO fired

She also says she was aware that the therapist took notes by hand during her sessions. However, he did not know that this information would be uploaded to a server. “However, I cannot afford the ransom. Also, I don’t think paying guarantees that the data will remain secret. “

Since the data leak went public on Monday, the clinic has fired the CEO. He tried to keep information theft from the institute council secret.

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