AU: Hackers steal physio clinic files

Jessica Elder reports on another case of ransomware and an extortion demand affecting a health facility in Australia:

A Mermaid Waters physiotherapy clinic is the second medical practice on the Gold Coast to be held to ransom by an international hacker demanding $5000 to unlock patient files.

The scam, which has affected businesses across the country, put more than 8000 patient files at risk at the busy Q Super Centre practice on Monday.

Back in Motion Physiotherapy owner Brad Beer said the files were “missing” from the computer system for 24 hours, but were quickly retrieved by support staff.

“We have secured all patient files prior to Friday, May 10,” he said yesterday.

“It is only new files created in the past four days that are still locked, but we are confident we will have those secured within 24 hours.”

Mr Beer said the scam had already cost tens of thousands in lost business and IT support.

Read more on Goldcoast.com.au.  In this case, they were able to recover most of their data from backups, but had four days’ worth of data that had not yet been backed up.  This type of situation is a reminder that frequent backups are important.

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