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CRIME

Son kept dead mum’s body in cellar for a year

A 23-year-old man has been admitted to a psychiatric hospital after police discovered he had kept the corpse of his dead mother in the cellar for a year. 

Authorities said the 61-year-old mother from the village of Blain, near Nantes, appears to have died a natural death in February 2011. Autopsy results are expected on Friday but a first examination of body did not find any wounds or traces of violence.

“It’s a human tragedy, but the investigation so far hasn’t uncovered a criminal motive,” a source close to the investigation told Le Parisien. The same source said tests show the son does not suffer from a serious psychiatric illness but was severely affected by the death of his mother.  

Speaking to the police, the son says his mother was overweigh and suffered from high blood pressure, and that she stopped taking care of herself in the period leading up to her death last year.

The young man put the body of his mother on a bed in the cellar and did not change his routine. He continued to shop for household groceries and paid the bills. 

His mother was a recluse and it appears the neighbours did not notice she had died.

It’s only when prosecutors opened an investigation into her disappearance and summoned the son for questioning, that he led them to her body. 

On Wednesday, the son was briefly detained by the police before being released and admitted into hospital. 

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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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