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Hackers threaten to release terabytes of NHS Scotland data after ransomware attack

Written by Thu 4 Apr 2024

Following a successful ransomware attack against NHS Dumfries and Galloway, hacking group INC Ransom warned they will publish confidential patient data and staff data from NHS Scotland.

If the demands set by INC Ransom are not met, three terabytes of sensitive data could be released, with the group showing a ‘proof pack’ of private data as evidence.

According to information published by INC Ransom, the data contains private medical data including names, addresses and data of births for patients, alongside test results and communications between doctors about treatment options.

Despite efforts by the Scottish Government, the National Security Centre and Police Scotland, it appears the hackers already have access to the data with no updates on how hackers could be forced to stop the private data from being leaked.

In a statement, NHS Dumfries and Galloway said it was aware ‘that clinical data relating to a small number of patients has been published by a recognised ransomware group’.

“This follows a recent focused cyberattack on the Board’s IT systems, when hackers were able to access a significant amount of data including patient and staff-identifiable information,” said the statement.

While the hacker group announced the successful attack on 26 March, NHS Dumfries and Galloway reported facing a cyberattack on 15 March, which is believed to be a reference to the INC Ransom breach. The most recent data from the breach is from 2019, with much of the documentation being years older.

Since last year, INC Ransom has targeted dozens of organisations and is known for making threats of leaking private data from hacks if its demands are not met.

On April 1, Leicester City Council also fell victim to an attack from INC Ransom. The group claimed responsibility for a highly damaging cybersecurity breach that allegedly hacked three terabytes from the local authority and resulted in widespread disruption to council services.

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Written by Thu 4 Apr 2024

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