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Hacker Group Publishes NHS Scotland’s Stolen Data and Threatened to Dump Entire 3 TB Unless Paid

By Alicia Hope for CPO Magazine
Friday, April 5, 2024

Most governments discourage ransom payments to avoid incentivizing cybercrime but advise victims to prioritize their customers’ and business partners’ best interests.

“This is why enacting legislation that would flatly ban payment of ransom is highly undesirable and can cause more harm than good,” said Dr. Ilia Kolochenko, CEO at ImmuniWeb. “Whilst I share the FBI’s firm position that payment of ransom subsidizes cybercrime and provokes new cyberattacks, there are cases when an isolated payment of ransom will be the lesser of all evils.”

He noted that the risk of exposing sensitive health information could justify paying the ransom even if recovering the stolen data was not guaranteed.

“For instance, if an HIV status, sexual health or terminal cancer diagnosis is publicly revealed, it can ruin people’s careers or even provoke suicide. Under such extreme pressure, payment of ransom may be well justified. Having said this, payment will, of course, not guarantee that the data will never be leaked elsewhere, but it will at least reduce such risk,” said Kolochenko.

Meanwhile, the NHS Scotland regional board also said it understands the lasting impact of leaking the stolen data and promised to contact the impacted individuals.

“NHS Dumfries and Galloway is very acutely aware of the potential impact of this development on the patients whose data has been published, and the general anxiety which might result within our patient population,” said NHS.

“While it is unclear how many individuals are impacted by the attack and what kind of sensitive medical data has been stolen, the mere size of the dump implies quite catastrophic and unrepairable damage to some individuals,” Kolochenko said.

The NHS Scotland regional board also said that patient-facing services no longer faced disruptions due to the cyber incident and continued to operate normally. Read Full Article

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