Hunter International Ransomware Group hacks plastic surgery clinic

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    A newly emerging ransomware group, known as Hunter International, has recently targeted a plastic surgeon’s office, raising concerns by threatening to expose sensitive photographs of patients who have undergone facial surgery procedures at the clinic’s branches in Beverly Hills and Dubai.

    Dr. Jaime Schwartz, the US-based surgeon, has reached out to law enforcement agencies to report the cyber-crime and is offering full cooperation to aid in the pursuit of the criminals. Dr. Schwartz remains resolute in refusing to comply with the ransom demands. Unfortunately, the situation is complicated by the fact that while the stolen data can be restored from backup systems, once the criminals gain access to it, there is no guarantee they will delete the information, despite their initial promises to do so in exchange for a payment.

    Sources close to our Cybersecurity Insiders have revealed that the attackers infiltrated the clinic’s computer network several months ago and seized over 249,000 files, including sensitive patient information such as names, addresses, photos, and video clips.

    The Hunter International Group, which appears to have ties to the now-defunct Hive Ransomware, has taken an aggressive stance. They have begun sending mass emails to the doctor’s clinic and have posted before-and-after photos of patients who underwent surgery. These tactics are intended to exert pressure on Dr. Schwartz to meet their demands. Adding to the distress, the group has also threatened to directly contact the affected patients to extort money if the doctor and his staff fail to meet the ransom demands promptly.

    It remains uncertain whether the group’s claims about the leaked data are accurate, as the identities of the patients have not been disclosed. Moreover, there is no confirmation that the leaked photos and videos are indeed from Dr. Jaime Schwartz’s clinic, known for its reputation in reconstructing the facial features of patients who have experienced accidental damage.

    Cyber-criminals are highly motivated to seize and sell this sensitive data due to the potential for lucrative extortion. As a result, victims are placed under significant pressure to pay the ransom at any cost. The situation is ongoing, and law enforcement agencies are actively working to trace the attackers and secure the compromised data.

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    Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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