Oct. 26 (UPI) -- Numerous patients at a large Finland psychotherapy clinic have been blackmailed after their data was hacked and stolen, authorities say.
Officials said patients at the Vastaamo clinic, which has 20 branches and thousands of patients in Finland, had their records stolen, including personal identification data and notes from therapy sessions.
The clinic said breaches occurred in November 2018 and March 2019 and the hackers held the information for ransom.
Vastaamo is cooperating with Finland's National Bureau of Investigation in the case.
Some patients began receiving ransom messages over the weekend, which demanded as much as $355 in bitcoin within 24 hours to permanently delete the information. In the messages, the hackers blamed Vastaamo for not paying prior ransom demands.
Vastaamo said authorities had advised them to delay informing patients about the breaches.
"Police have asked us to limit communications and sharing of information about the issue, as well as imposed reporting restriction on us, citing operational reasons," Vastamo Chairman Tuomas Kahri said.