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Staffing firm target of cyber attack

Eilakaisla says it can’t rule out the possibility that thousands of people's details have fallen into criminal hands.

Finland has recently witnessed a massive data breach involving private mental health services firm Vastaamo as well as a cyber attack on Parliament. Image: Eleni Paspatis / Yle

Finnish staffing firm Eilakaisla has announced it was the target of a cyber attack, potentially endangering the personal details of job seekers and people employed through the agency.

"We didn’t have any indication by Sunday night that such information has been compromised, but we can’t rule out that this might have happened," Eilakaisla CEO Erika Ehrnrooth told news agency STT.

Ehrnrooth declined to comment on the exact content of the message left by the attackers, as police were currently investigating the matter.

"It was a short message in English asking us to contact a number of email addresses if we wanted to access our systems," she said.

The hackers did not demand a ransom, though Ehrnrooth speculated that such a request would likely have followed if the company had messaged the addresses specified by the hackers.

The attack may have put at risk the personal details of tens of thousands of people whose information was on file with the staffing company.

"We don’t have evidence that anything was stolen, but we can’t rule it out," Ehrnrooth explained, adding that she believed the attack originated abroad, revealing there were indications that someone was selling hacked access to the company’s internal systems on the dark web last year.

"It was on there in Russian," she said.

Eilakaisla said the malware attack occurred last Friday. The company said it will contact anyone whose information may have been compromised, should investigations suggest such a risk exists.

The firm said it had notified the National Cyber Security Centre as well as the Data Protection Ombudsman’s office.

Last autumn, Finland was shaken by a massive data breach involving psychotherapy provider Vastaamo that affected up to 40,000 people. A few weeks ago, news emerged that a cyber attack on Parliament last autumn had compromised a number of parliamentary email accounts.

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