Finnish-based psychotherapy practice, Vastaamo, earlier came into the world’s attention back in October 2020 after it suffered a devastating attack by cybercriminals who threatened to leak the patients’ data unless they agreed to pay a bitcoin ransom of €200.
Psychotherapy Center Vastaamo was initially placed in liquidation proceedings however, after carefully assessing the situation of Vastaamo, liquidator Lassi Nyyssönen from the law firm Fenno made a decision that it is not possible to conduct liquidation proceedings. The liquidator, therefore, filed for bankruptcy with the Helsinki District Court on 11 February 2021.
Before that, on the 10th of February 2021, the liquidator entered into a preliminary agreement for the sale of the business to Verve.
“It is very unfortunate that it was not possible to avoid the bankruptcy of Vastaamo,” said Nyyssönen. “However, it is important that the sale of the business opens up a solution for customers and Vastaamo’s skilled personnel, with which they can continue their therapy and treatment with confidence.”
High non-recurring costs and uncertainty caused by security breaches had placed a significant strain on Vastaamo’s finances in recent months. Moreover, the handling of data breaches and extortion pushed the company into a business situation in which Vastaamo no longer had the financial preconditions and the company became insolvent.
The company tried to emphasize the fact that their first priority was the continuation of their existing patient’s therapy and treatment with the same therapists. Their recent press release statement also includes information for the patients who want to continue their treatment at Verve through the practical arrangements that will be provided.
Legal investigations into the data breach continued after it emerged at the end of January 2021 that the stolen database appeared to have been republished on the dark web. The firm said it deeply regretted the circumstances of this particular incident.
They also mentioned that in the future, they will provide instructions for the current clients to ensure the continuation of their care relationships. Lastly, they promised their clients that they would keep them informed about the arrangements as they receive more information on the trading process.
This however is not the first time when a business has called it quit after devastating cyber attacks. Last year, a dark web hosting Daniel’s Hosting (DH) decided to shut down its operation after it was hacked and its database was leaked online.
In 2016, three Bitcoin exchanges (1, 2, 3) were forced to quit their operations after cyber attacks. If you are running a business make sure your employees are educated on cybersecurity and cyberattacks especially phishing scams.