Patients who attended a Lithuanian cosmetic surgery clinic are being forced to pay ransoms to prevent private photographs and personal data being published online.
An investigation is underway after patient images were made public on Tuesday (May 30) by a hacking group calling themselves ‘Tsar Team’. After a previous attempt to extract a ransom from the clinic itself failed, the group is now demanding ransoms from the clients who attended the clinic from more than 60 countries around the world. Ransoms range from €50 and €2,000, depending on the sensitivity of the data.
The incident comes at a time when healthcare systems are being increasingly targeted by hackers. The UK’s National Health Service was crippled for a number of days last month when its systems were infected with WannaCry ransomware. The attack affected 47 NHS trusts leaving doctors without access to critical online supports. Thousands of computers in 150 countries were affected by the attack.
Last year, data company, Experian, warned that the healthcare sector would be a focal point for hackers in 2017 as medical identity theft remains lucrative and easy for cyber criminals to exploit, with electronic health records likely to be a primary target for attackers.