Dentist company pays cybercriminals ransom after ransomware attack


NOS Newstoday, 20:04

Dentist company Colosseum Dental, which has 120 dental practices in the Netherlands, has paid ransom to internet criminals. Last week, the dental company was hit by a ransomware attack, in which computer files were encrypted.

The dental practices have been closed since last Thursday. Patients could not be helped because their records were not available due to the attack. A source knew tech website Tweakers to report that backups had been removed and that the cybercriminals threatened to disclose patient data.

The ransom demanded by the attackers was paid by the dental company. “Only in this way were we able to minimize the risk for all involved in such a short period of time and restore practice relatively quickly,” the company writes. on his own website. The dentists do not say how much money they have transferred.

Police: do not pay ransom

Ransom transfers after a ransomware attack are more common as organizations sometimes have no other options to get their files back. For example, Maastricht University paid almost 200,000 euros in cryptocurrencies to hackers at the end of 2019. Recently, the university the money back with profit after a Ukrainian suspect was arrested.

However, the police advise against paying ransom to internet criminals. By paying the ransom, the criminal process is maintained, the police argue.

‘Duty of care so seriously disrupted’

Colosseum Dental has filed a complaint and has also reported the attack to the Dutch Data Protection Authority, as is required by law. The company said it regrets “that this cyberattack has disrupted our duty of care for our patients so seriously.”

The dental practices hope to reopen during the week.

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