Man accused of Finland psychotherapy hack charged with 21,000 counts of extortion | Finland | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

Prosecutors in Finland have charged a hacker, accused of the theft of tens of thousands of records from psychotherapy patients, with more than 21,000 counts of extortion.

“The suspect is held on remand and has denied being guilty of the offences,” the national prosecution authority said in a statement on Wednesday.

The prosecutor is seeking a seven-year prison sentence for the defendant, Aleksanteri Kivimaki, who was formerly identified as Julius Kivimaki.

In the 2018 breach of the Finnish firm Vastaamo, which oversaw dozens of psychotherapy centres throughout the Nordic nation, the private treatment records of tens of thousands of patients were stolen.

After stealing the records, Kivimaki initially sought to extort more than €360,000 (£312,000) in bitcoin from Vastaamo in exchange for not leaking the records, according to the prosecutor.

When Vastaamo refused to pay, Kivimaki started leaking the records as a means of putting pressure on the company.

According to the prosecution, Kivimaki also sent extortion letters to patients demanding sums ranging from €200 to €500 to prevent the disclosure of records of their therapy sessions.

Kivimaki was also charged with 9,598 counts of dissemination of information infringing on personal privacy.

Following a European arrest warrant issued by the Finnish police in October 2022, he was arrested in the Paris region on 3 February.

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Kivimaki has previously been convicted on various charges of cybercrime, fraud and money laundering, as well as 50,700 data breaches carried out in conjunction with a hacker group in more than a hundred countries.

The trial is scheduled to begin on 13 November and is expected to last until February of next year.


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