Our website uses cookies

Cookies enable us to provide the best experience possible and help us understand how visitors use our website. By browsing Infosecurity Magazine, you agree to our use of cookies.

Okay, I understand Learn more

Hackers Threaten to Release Plastic Surgery Pics of Celebs, Royals

The hackers responsible for hacking Netflix are back, claiming to have lifted reams of sensitive cosmetic surgery photos from a famous UK clinic catering to celebs and royals.

The Dark Overlord said that it plans to release the trove on the internet, naturally, including images of breast augmentation and other extremely private pictures.

The victim, the London Bridge Plastic Surgery (LBPS) clinic, confirmed it had been hacked and said that it’s working with the Metropolitan Police to investigate what exactly has been stolen.

For its part, the Dark Overlord said it has terabytes of data.

"We're going to pitch it all up for everyone to nab. The entire patient list with corresponding photos,” the hackers claimed in a letter sent to The Daily Beast. "There are some royal families in here…The world has never seen a medical dump of a plastic surgeon to such a degree.”

The hackers also sent the outlet a selection of photos, many with close-ups of genitalia, to prove they have what they say they do. The Daily Beast ran an analysis:

None of a selection of tested photos returned any matches from Google reverse image searches, implying that they were indeed obtained from a private source. Several pictures include LBPS’ chief surgeon Chris Inglefield, wearing his distinctive, multi-colored head scarves. In one image, he is wearing an identical head scarf to that in an image on LBPS’ website.

In addition to its infamous Netflix heist, the group has struck out at healthcare information before, including releasing 9.2 million patient records on a Dark Web marketplace. The situation should serve as a reminder to businesses that criminals often go after more than just financial information.

"The attack highlights the importance for businesses to understand the data they store or process and the threats against them,” said Javvad Malik, security advocate at AlienVault. “More often than not, companies will place a lot of effort into securing financial records, but not so much into other forms of data they hold. Blackmail, extortion, and even embarrassment opportunities are enough for criminals to go after any form of data. Therefore, it is essential that assets are properly identified and classified and appropriate security controls are implemented, not just to protect the data, but also to monitor for threats so it can detect and alert when a breach is occurring or soon after."

As for apprehending the people behind the Dark Overlord, “If the cybercriminals here were professionals, they will likely keep the photos and silently demand ransom from all the victims,” said Ilia Kolochenko, CEO of High-Tech Bridge. “In this case, the police will unlikely be able to help, as technical means used by professional black hats assure almost absolute anonymity even when the ransom is paid.

He added, “Otherwise, if photos will be just leaked online—we can infer that the attack was conducted by hacktivists or script kiddies, and law enforcement may have some chance to track and prosecute them. We can also imagine a third scenario of a sophisticated attack organized by a competitor aimed just to ruin the image to the clinic, but it’s quite unlikely as it will undermine trust in the entire industry. In any case, it’s a clear message that cybersecurity can impact everyone regardless his or her wealth, activity or citizenship.”

What’s Hot on Infosecurity Magazine?