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by Sofia Villegas
27 March 2024
Cybergang threatens to release large amount of Scottish health data

Cybergang holds sensitive health data | Alamy

Cybergang threatens to release large amount of Scottish health data

A cybercrime gang has threatened to release three terabytes – which equates to 3,000 gigabytes – of stolen NHS Scotland data.

INC Ransom said “the data will be published soon” in a message uploaded to its dark web blog. 

NHS Dumfries and Galloway confirmed that clinical data relating to a small number of patients had been published as evidence that the gang held the information.

The incident comes after the health board suffered a data breach which compromised a “significant quantity of data” belonging to patients and staff two weeks ago.

Evidence of the leak shared with the health board included hospital reports, email conversations, clinical reports, document scans as well as patient names and addresses, among other details.

A Police Scotland spokesperson confirmed that enquiries are ongoing, and the Information Commissioner’s Office said it was investigating the incident.

On Wednesday, NHS Dumfries and Galloway chief executive Jeff Ace said the health board was  “continuing to work with Police Scotland, the National Cyber Security Centre, the Scottish Government and other agencies” to handle the situation.

“Patient-facing services continue to function effectively as normal.

“As part of this response, we will be making contact with any patients whose data has been leaked at this point.

“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.”

Previously, Ace had said there was reason to believe that those responsible had acquired patient and staff-specific data.

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