Large scale data breach against a psychotherapy center

By February 22, 2021 February 25th, 2021 News from members

Winter 2021 News from Victim Support Finland 

Psychotherapy Centre Vastaamo and its clients became a victim of a major data breach in which sensitive customer information was disseminated online. The data breach became public in October 2020. The blackmailer announced having patient records of ca 40 000 patients of the centre and started sending blackmail letters to hundreds of these patients asking for money in order not to release sensitive patient information. Information of patient records was later made public in the anonymous Tor Browser. So far some 25 000 victims have made a report to the police of this crime.

Victim Support Finland supported some 1500 victims in a short period of time in the end of October and beginning of November. Clients were assisted in the 116 006 helpline, the online chat service and through personal contacts to victims. The urgent need for help and assistance came from the need to stop possible identity thefts. Since also social security numbers of these patients were stolen, there was a high risk of criminals using them in different kinds of frauds.

For more information about Victim Support Finland’s assistance to these victims see the following web pages:

https://www.riku.fi/en/what-to-do-if-your-personal-data-has-been-leaked-online/ 

https://www.riku.fi/en/vastaamo-case-from-the-victim-perspective-2/ 

Victim Support Finland’s total number of clients in 2020 close to 23 000 .

The number of clients at Victim Support Finland (RIKU) came to a new record in 2021. The total number of clients in different services grew up to 22 600 showing a rise of 25 % from 2019. The biggest rise was shown in the 116 006 helpline where the total number of clients was 5500 compared to 2110 in 2019. The online chat service reached out to 3700 clients and the Legal help line to 640 clients. The covid-19 pandemic probably affected the number of support relations (longer term clients). The number of support relations was 7100 which was same in 2019. The pandemic seems to have caused a shift to more short-term services such as 116 006 help line and the online chat service.

__