The confidential treatment records of tens of thousands of psychotherapy patients in Finland have been hacked and some leaked online, in what the interior minister said Monday was “a shocking act.”
Distressed patients flooded victim support services over the weekend as Finnish police revealed hackers accessed records belonging to private company Vastaamo, which runs 25 therapy centres across Finland.
Thousands have filed police complaints over the breach, they added.
Many patients reported receiving emails with a demand for 200 euros ($236) in bitcoin to prevent the contents of their discussions with therapists being made public.
“The Vastaamo data breach is a shocking act which hits all of us deep down,” Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo wrote on her website on Monday.
Finland must be a country where “help for mental health issues is available and it can be accessed without fear.”
Ministers met for crisis talks this weekend, with further emergency