Vastaamo hacking and blackmail: 25,000 police reports filed

Police say it's taking time to work through the sheer volume of criminal complaints they've received about this case.

File image of computer, cyber / Credit: iStock

The National Bureau of Investigation NBI says they’ve received 25,000 crime reports so far connected with the Vaastamo data breach and blackmail attempts.

“Due to the exceptionally wide range of crimes under investigation and the large number of reports made, we ask people to be patient with the process” says Inspector Kimmo Ulkuniemi.

“Although the processing of criminal reports in the police takes longer than usual due to congestion, this does not affect the progress of the preliminary investigation” he adds.

Vaastamo, which offers mental health services, reported a large data breach to police at the end of September, and it may have involved tens of thousands of patient records being accessed by unauthorised parties.

Some records began to show up on the dark web and hundreds of patients are thought to have received blackmail emails asking for money in return for confidential records being deleted.

Police are investigating suspected cases of aggravated hacking, aggravated invasion of privacy and aggravated blackmail although they’ve not said whether the same person or group behind the initial hacking at Vastaamo is also behind the blackmail attempts.

The National Bureau of Investigation has been in touch with international police authorities about the case.

“The police will continue to investigate the crime along various lines of investigation. We currently have a lot of material to go through. The progress of the investigation will be announced as often as possible” says Commissioner Tero Muurman from NBI.

Victims are being offered guidance and help online, and through a special phone line that’s been set up by authorities. It is open weekdays from 08:00 to 16:15 and the number is 0295 419 800.