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CRIME

Police foil forced-marriage kidnap

German police said on Tuesday they had foiled a bid by two Turks to kidnap a 17-year-old girl from Sarregumines, in eastern France, for a forced marriage in Turkey.

The attempted abduction of the French teenager of Turkish origin, took place on Sunday, just across the German border, in Saarbruecken, police said.

Two Turks, aged 35 and 37, blocked the car in which the alleged victim was being driven by a 20-year-old friend at a traffic light, forcing her into their own car.

“Thanks to eyewitness reports, a regional search was launched which allowed police in Rhineland-Palatinate to intercept the car” some 60 kilometers further east, police in Saarland said.

A preliminary investigation found that the two arrested men wanted to take the French-born girl to Turkey where she was to be married against her will, police added.

CRIME

Hackers post French hospital patient data online

Hackers who crippled a French hospital and stole a trove of data last month have released personal records of patients online, officials have confirmed.

Hackers post French hospital patient data online

The cyberattackers demanded a multimillion dollar ransom from the Corbeil-Essonnes hospital near Paris a month ago, but the institution refused to pay.

The hospital said the hackers had now dumped medical scans and lab analyses along with the social security numbers of patients.

“I condemn in the strongest possible terms the unspeakable disclosure of hacked data,” health minister Fran├žois Braun tweeted on Sunday.

Hospitals around the world have been facing increasing attacks from ransomware groups, particularly since the pandemic stretched resources to breaking point.

The problem has been acute in France, where officials estimated early last year that healthcare institutions were facing on average an attack every week.

President Emmanuel Macron last year called the attacks during the pandemic a “crisis within a crisis” and announced an extra one billion euros for cybersecurity.

During last month’s attack, the Corbeil-Essonnes hospital shut down its emergency services and sent many patients to other institutions.

At one point, officials said the only technology still working was the telephone.

Rather than selling the trove of data, the hacker has dumped at least some of it for download on the “dark web” — a hidden part of the internet that requires special software to access.

Analysts said it seemed to be a tactic to put pressure on the hospital, even though public institutions are banned by French law from paying ransoms.

Cybersecurity researcher Damien Bancal, who revealed the leak and has seen the files, told AFP the worry is that other criminals will now launch scams with the data that has already been divulged.

In response to the leak on the weekend, the hospital severely restricted access to its systems and told patients to be extremely vigilant when receiving emails, text messages or phone calls.

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