Hackers try to blackmail plastic surgeon after stealing 500,000 patient records

Data stolen from web enquiry forms

Almost 500,000 patient records have been hacked from the servers of the Harley Medical Group, the plastic surgery firm which has clinics across the UK.

Following the breach the hackers attempted to extort money from the company. According to Harley Medical Group, the information was stolen from its website enquiry system.

The hackers are said to have gleaned some 480,000 records containing potential clients' names, addresses, dates of birth, email addresses and telephone numbers, in addition to the details of the cosmetic procedure they were interested in.

In a statement, Harley Medical Group said it had no reason to believe that further clinical or financial information was accessed in the hack, and that it had informed the police and the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) about the data breach.

It said: "We acted immediately when we became aware that an individual had deliberately bypassed our website security, gaining access to contact information from initial inquiries, in an attempt to extort money from the company."

It went on: "The police and the Information Commissioner were notified and we contacted everyone whose inquiry may have been accessed to apologise and to reassure them that all clinical and financial records remain totally secure. We have taken action to further strengthen the security around website inquiries."

There are now fears that the hackers will use the information to try and blackmail some of those on the lists about their interest in having plastic surgery done, with speculation that some of those contacting the surgery may have been celebrities.

Many who have plastic surgery done are also well off, so the hackers will know their bank accounts are good hacking targets too.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Follow our new CSO Australia LinkedIn
Follow our new social and we'll keep you in the loop for exclusive events and all things security!
Have an opinion on security? Want to have your articles published on CSO? Please contact CSO Content Manager for our guidelines.

Tags Information Commissioner's Office

More about ICO

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Brand Page

Stories by Antony Savvas

Latest Videos

More videos

Blog Posts