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COVID-19 vaccine test center affected by a ransomware attack

British-based Hammersmith Medicines Research (HMR), a standby COVID-19 vaccine test center, has been affected by a ransomware attack. When the company declined to pay the ransom, the threat actors behind the attack published personal details of thousands of former patients on the dark web.

What happened

The attack occurred on March 14, 2020, but was quickly detected and stopped. However, the attackers managed to extract data of former patients. The files, which HMR said are likely to date back eight to 20 years, contain medical questionnaires, copies of passports, driver licenses, and national insurance numbers of more than 2,300 of the organization’s patients. Soon after the attack, on March 18, the group carrying out Maze ransomware attacks announced that it won’t carry out attacks on medical research organizations during the coronavirus pandemic.


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