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CRIME

Danish man arrested in French Riviera after woman’s body found in fridge

A Danish man was brought before a judge in southern France on Tuesday on suspicions he murdered his wife and hid her body in a refrigerator, prosecutors said.

Danish man arrested in French Riviera after woman's body found in fridge
A photograph shows a French police logo on a police car (Photo by FRED TANNEAU / AFP)

The suspect was arrested early Sunday after police staked out his residence in Mandelieu-la-Napoule, just outside Cannes on the French Riviera, according to the local Nice-Matin newspaper.

They were alerted after two acquaintances of the Dane said he asked them to transport the refrigerator to a landfill, and noticed a foul odour coming from behind the padlocked door.

The suspect told them he had killed a dog, but the two men forced the fridge open and found not only the dog but also a “human body,” the local prosecutors’ office said.

An autopsy on Sunday determined that she had been shot.

“The victim has not been formally identified but the inquiry and the autopsy suggest that it’s the suspect’s wife,” prosectors said, adding that further tests were under way.

Police found several loaded weapons, cocaine and hash at the suspect’s home as well as the body of a puppy in a freezer.

During questioning, the man gave “no explications” but a psychiatric exam had found no mental health conditions that would prevent him from standing trial, prosecutors said.

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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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