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CRIME

Thousands march for murdered French jogger

Shocked locals in eastern France joined the family and distraught friends of a murdered jogger for a silent march on Sunday that saw up to 10,000 people take to the streets of the town of Gray.

Thousands march for murdered French jogger
The relatives of Alexia Daval take part in a silent march gathering nearly 1000 people in Gray on Sunday. PHOTO: SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP
Alexia Daval, a 29-year-old bank worker, disappeared last weekend after heading out for a run from her home in the rural Haute-Saone area to the northeast of France's Burgundy wine-growing area.
 
Her badly burned body was found in a nearby wood on Monday and an autopsy has determined she was strangled to death, but police have not yet made any arrests and the identity of her attacker remains unknown.
 
The seemingly random nature of the murder in a quiet town of around 5,000 people has led to national attention, with hundreds of joggers paying homage to her on Saturday by running in cities across France.
 
“With these sporting gestures, you are making Alexia into a strong symbol, one of the freedom for all women to enjoy running and to live,” her mother Isabelle Fouillot said through tears as she addressed the rally on Sunday.
 
Many of the 8,000 to 10,000 people who joined the march and listened to speeches from Daval's devastated husband and family brought white roses which were placed in front of her parents' tobacco shop in the town.

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 François 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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