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French police arrest Finnish psychotherapy centre hacking, extortion suspect

Work is underway to extradite the 25-year-old to Finland. The man is suspected of trying to extort victims with the personal, sensitive data he allegedly stole from a therapy centre's database.

julius kivimäki.
Originally from Espoo, Julius, or Aleksanteri, Kivimäki is well known around the world and has spoken to the media about his crimes. Yle has chosen to reveal the suspect's identity due to the social significance of the case. Image: Europol, Juha Kemppainen / Yle, grafiikka: Aalto Puutio / Yle
Yle News

Police in France have arrested a 25-year-old man for his suspected role in the hacking of patient data at the psychotherapy centre Vastaamo.

The suspect is the well-known hacker Julius Kivimäki, who now uses the first name Aleksanteri, and is also known online by the handle 'Zeekill'. French authorities arrested the suspect on Friday, on the authority of a Finnish arrest warrant.

Helsinki District Court remanded Kivimäki in absentia last October and the suspect was also added to Europol's "most wanted" list, the NBI announced in November.

Kivimäki has denied being involved in Vastaamo's data breach in any way.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said Finnish authorities are working closely with their French counterparts about Kivimäki's extradition.

Vastaamo was the target of major data breaches in November 2018 and March 2019, during which sensitive information of about 30,000 patients was stolen, which was then used to attempt to extort money from the company as well as its clients.

Sensitive, personal information about the centre's clients was published on the anonymous Tor network on the dark web.

The NBI referred to the suspect as Aleksanteri Tomminpoika Kivimäki, the same name used in Europol's fugitive description (siirryt toiseen palveluun).

Europol said Kivimäki is suspected of crimes including aggravated computer breach, aggravated attempted extortion, aggravated dissemination of information violating personal privacy, extortion, attempted extortion, computer breach, message interception and falsification of evidence.

Originally from Espoo, Kivimäki is well known around the world and has spoken to the media about crimes he has committed in Finland and abroad.

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