Julius “Zeekill” Kivimäki, a 25-year-old Finnish man charged with extorting a local online psychotherapy practice and leaking therapy notes for more than 22,000 patients online, was arrested this week in France. A notorious hacker convicted of perpetrating tens of thousands of cybercrimes, Kivimäki had been in hiding since October 2022, when he failed to show up in court and Finland issued an international warrant for his arrest.
In late October 2022, Kivimäki was charged (and “arrested in absentia,” according to the Finns) with attempting to extort money from the Vastaamo Psychotherapy Center. In that breach, which occurred in October 2020, a hacker using the handle “Ransom Man” threatened to publish patient psychotherapy notes if Vastaamo did not pay a six-figure ransom demand.
Vastaamo refused, so Ransom Man shifted to extorting individual patients — sending them targeted emails threatening to publish their therapy notes unless paid a 500-euro ransom.
When Ransom Man found little success extorting patients directly, they uploaded to the dark web a large compressed file containing all of the stolen Vastaamo patient records.
But as documented by KrebsOnSecurity in November 2022, security experts soon discovered Ransom Man had mistakenly included an entire copy of their home folder, where investigators found many clues pointing to Kivimäki’s involvement. From that story:
“Among those who grabbed a copy of the database was Antti Kurittu, a team lead at Nixu Corporation and a former criminal investigator. In 2013, Kurittu worked on an investigation involving Kivimäki’s use of the Zbot botnet, among other activities Kivimäki engaged in as a member of the hacker group Hack the Planet (HTP).”
“It was a huge ..
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