- GCHQ and police are investigating the hacker gang Rhysida, named after the centipede
Hackers who targeted the private hospital where Kate, Princess of Wales was treated, are threatening to reveal private medical information of members of the royal family.
The gang broke into the computer systems of King Edward VII’s Hospital and warned that they intended to release “royal family data” on Tuesday unless they received £300,000 in the cyber currency Bitcoin.
The ransom demand was posted on the dark web, where the hackers posted images of supposedly stolen files, including X-rays, letters from consultants, registration forms, handwritten clinical notes and pathology forms.
Prince William leaves King Edward VII’s Hospital with his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
The Princess of Wales was admitted to King Edward VII’s Hospital in 2012 with persistent bouts of acute morning sickness during her first pregnancy. Pictured, Kate attends the 2023 Royal Variety Performance at the Royal Albert Hall
The gang said: “Your attention is drawn to unique files!” Royal family data! A large amount of patient and employee data. Selling in one lot!!’
GCHQ and police are investigating the attack by hacker gang Rhysida – named after a poisonous tropical centipede.
The 56-bed private hospital in Marylebone has been used by the royal family for more than a century. The late Queen Elizabeth II was a patient, as was Prince Philip, who was treated there for almost a month before dying in 2021 at the age of 99.
The Princess of Wales was admitted there in 2012 with persistent bouts of acute morning sickness during her first pregnancy.
During their stay, two Australian radio DJs made a prank call and obtained private medical information about Kate – the then Duchess of Cambridge – which they then broadcast, forcing hospital bosses to make an embarrassing apology.
The nurse who unwittingly answered the call later committed suicide because of the prank.
Last night Philip Ingram, a former British military intelligence colonel, said: “Given the high sensitivity of patients, there will be some pressure on the hospital to prevent the publication of this data.”
And that’s why I would expect them to explore the possibility of paying the ransom.
“The difficulty is that the attack has already happened and many of these high-profile customers will themselves be taking steps to mitigate risk. “In that sense, the damage has already been done.”
The 56-bed private hospital in Marylebone has been used by the royal family for more than a century. Pictured: Police officers in front of King Edward VII’s Hospital in London
Colonel Ingram said even if the hospital decided to pay the ransom, there was no guarantee the data would be returned.
He warned that it could be copied and resold to other underworld cybercrime gangs. “This will be a national effort involving the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) and GCHQ,” he said.
A spokesperson for NCSC, GCHQ’s computer crime unit, confirmed: “We are working with King Edward VII’s Hospital to understand the impact.”
A spokesperson for the hospital said: “We recently experienced an IT security incident.
“We took immediate action to mitigate the impact and continued patient care largely as usual.”
“We also launched an investigation which confirmed that a small amount of data was copied.”
“While this was primarily harmless hospital system data, a limited amount of patient information was copied. “We apologize.”
Buckingham Palace did not respond to requests for comment.
Share or comment on this article: Hackers who targeted the private hospital where Kate Middleton was treated are threatening to release the royal family’s private medical information
Source : www.dailymail.co.uk