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Hammersmith Medicine Research Data Breach Claims

If your data has been put at risk in this data breach, you may be able to claim with Keller Lenkner UK.

Get justice for the Hammersmith
Medicines Research data breach

On 14th March 2020, the Maze ransomware group attacked the computer systems of Hammersmith Medicines Research (HMR) – a company which performs early clinical trials of drugs and vaccines. 

HMR did not pay the ransom. Malcolm Boyce, managing and clinical director and doctor at HMR said: “We have no intention of paying. I would rather go out of business than pay a ransom to these people”.

In response to this refusal, the cyber gangsters published the personal and medical details of more than 2,300 former volunteer patients online. The information has since been taken down.

The extremely sensitive and confidential information exposed in this hack includes:

The data exposed goes back years. The published records were from some volunteers with surnames beginning with D, G, I or J. However, even if your records weren’t among those that were published, the criminals might have stolen copies of them.  If you are worried that your information has been exposed, you can check at DataProtection@hmrlondon.com.

Keller Lenkner UK is considering a no win, no fee group action against Hammersmith Medicines Research. Group actions can be a powerful tool and can have a bigger impact than a single claim.

Contact us today for a free, no-obligation, assessment of your case.

Why claim Hammersmith Medicines Research
data breach compensation?

Hold medical companies to account for failing to protect your private information.

Receive financial compensation for your losses.

Force medical companies to implement better data security.

Victims of the Hammersmith Medicines Research data breach must be extra vigilant

There is a real risk that anyone exposed in the data breach could see criminals use their stolen identity documents to commit fraud (such as taking out a loan in their name).

An increase in phishing attempts is also likely. Phishing is where a fraudster poses as a legitimate organisation, the police, or someone else you trust to trick you into handing over sensitive information such as usernames and passwords. This is much easier to do if they already have some information about you.

Sometimes, when a data breach occurs, stolen personal information can also be found for sale on the dark web. A hidden section of the internet, the dark web allows users to remain anonymous and untraceable. It is popular with cybercriminals looking to buy and sell data for nefarious purposes.

Cyber-criminals can do extensive damage with just names and email addresses – and this breach includes far more sensitive information – so victims of the Hammersmith Medicines Research data breach must be extra vigilant.

Hammersmith Medicines Research Data Breach Timeline

  • 14 March 2020
    HMR was subjected to a targeted and sophisticated attack by cyber criminals.
  • 21 - 23 March 2020
    The breached data was published online.
  • 6 April 2020
    HMR sent a notification email to some affected volunteers.

Latest News

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Can you make a medical data breach claim?

Our healthcare sector does a fantastic job, often under incredibly challenging circumstances. But data privacy is constantly being treated as an after-thought. No one wants to sue the NHS, or indeed any healthcare business, but sometimes making a claim is the only way to force improvements in patient security. It is also worth mentioning that the NHS is insured against compensation claims.

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Did Hammersmith Medicines Research breach your data?

Many former HMR volunteers still do not know that their personal data was involved in this privacy violation. In fact, despite HMR contacting some of those affected, of those who have contacted Keller Lenkner UK about the breach, approximately 60% have not received any confirmation of involvement from HMR. So, your data could have been stolen in the HMR data breach and not know it.

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Your questions answered

See our answers to the FAQs we get asked about the Hammersmith Medicines Research Data Breach.

FAQs about the Hammersmith Medicines Research data breach

On 14th March 2020, the Maze ransomware group attacked the computer systems of Hammersmith Medicines Research (HMR).

HMR did not pay the ransom. In response to this refusal, the cyber gangsters published the personal and medical details of more than 2,300 former volunteer patients online.

The extremely sensitive and confidential information exposed in this hack includes names and dates of birth, identity documents (scanned passport, National Insurance card, driving licence and/or visa documents, and any photographs taken at the screening visit), health questionnaires, consent forms, information from GPs and some test results (including, in a few cases only, positive tests for HIV, hepatitis, and drugs of abuse). The hackers may also have accessed bank details.

According to HMR, the published records were from some volunteers with surnames beginning with D, G, I or J. However, HMR admits that criminals might still have your data, even if your records weren’t among those published.

There is a real risk that anyone exposed in the data breach could see criminals use their stolen identity documents to commit fraud. An increase in phishing attempts is also likely. When a data breach occurs, stolen personal information can also be found for sale on the dark web. So victims of the Hammersmith Medicines Research data breach must be extra vigilant.

The published records were from some volunteers with surnames beginning with D, G, I or J. However, even if your records weren’t among those that were published, the criminals might have stolen copies of them. 

Despite HMR contacting those affected, of those who have contacted Keller Lenkner UK about the breach, approximately 60% did not see this email notification or only became aware of it months later due to the email being directed into volunteers spam folder. Therefore, your information might have been compromised in the HMR data breach and you may not know it.

Yes, Keller Lenkner can make a data request to find this out for you. Simply sign up with us and we will contact HMR on your behalf.

With the stolen files likely to date back 20 years, our early investigations indicate that hundreds of thousands of people could be involved in the HMR data breach.

Some people are wary about making a data breach claim because they do not want to harm the organisation that breached their data. However, in a world that is increasingly digital, cyber-attacks are going to happen, so organisations such as HMR usually take out insurance to cover the risk of cybercrime.

We are taking on all HMR claims on a no-win, no-fee basis.

HMR was negligent in safeguarding your data due to insufficient security systems. Just because it was a victim of a crime does not mean it is any less liable.

We cannot say for sure, but we believe that we have a strong case.

WHAT IS A GROUP ACTION?

 

Find out more about making a group action claim for compensation.

WHAT DOES NO-WIN, NO-FEE MEAN?

 

What does no-win, no-fee actually mean and are there really no costs if you appoint us?

Why use Keller Lenkner UK to make a claim?

We are one of the most experienced multi-claimant law firms in the UK.

Our GDPR, data breach and cybercrime specialists have a combined experience of over 50 years.

We represent clients in group actions and individual cases with innovation, resources, and expertise.

We work with expert barristers to ensure you get the very best level of legal support available.

We have all the resources and global expertise necessary to take on complicated cases and win.

We have offices in Chancery Lane, London and Liverpool City Centre, and the technology to provide a nationwide service.

We use technology to deliver a better legal experience to our clients.

We work on a no-win, no-fee basis.

We make the process straightforward and hassle-free.

What can you claim for?

While each case is judged on its own merits, there are some things we would typically look for when it comes to when claiming compensation following a data breach, cybercrime or other GDPR violation:

Financial loses

With stolen data, cybercriminals can make purchases using your bank and credit cards, apply for credit in your name, set up fraudulent bank accounts and access your existing online accounts.

Distress

GDPR failures, cybercrime and data breaches can have a significant impact on you, both mentally and physically. They can cause or exacerbate anxiety, stress and other psychological conditions.

Loss of privacy

Your data has value, and organisations must be held to account if they fail to protect your right to data privacy or otherwise do not uphold your GDPR rights.
 

How to protect yourself following a data breach or cybercrime

  • Contact your bank or credit card provider immediately if your financial data has been exposed.
  • Check all bills and emails for goods or services you have not ordered.
  • Check your bank account for unfamiliar transactions.
  • Alert your bank or credit card provider immediately if there is any suspicious activity.
  • Monitor your credit score for any unexpected dips.
  • Call Credit, Experian and Equifax to ensure credit isn’t taken out in your name.
  • Never provide your PIN or full password to anyone (even someone claiming to be from your bank).
  • Never been pressured into moving money to another account for fraud reasons. A legitimate bank won’t ask you to do this.
  • Follow the security instructions provided by the organisation that breached your data.
  • Never automatically click on any suspicious links or downloads in emails or texts.
  • Don’t assume an email or phone call is authentic just because someone has your details.
  • Be careful who you trust – criminals often use scare tactics to try and trick you into revealing your security details.
  • Know that, even if you recognise a name or number, it might not be genuine.
  • Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision. A trustworthy organisation would never force you to make a financial transaction on the spot.
  • Never provide your full password, pin or security code to someone over the phone (or via message). If a bank believes a transaction has been fraudulent, they will not ask for this information to cancel the transaction.
  • Listen to your instincts and ask questions if something feels “off”.
  • Refuse requests for personal or financial information and stop discussions if you are at all unsure.
  • Contact your bank or financial service provider on a number you know and trust to check if a communication is genuine.
  • Be cautious of unsolicited communications that refer you to a web page asking for personal data.
  • Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know on social media.
  • Review your online privacy settings.
  • Report suspected fraud attempts to the police and Action Fraud.
  • Register with the Cifas protective registration service to slow down credit applications made in your name.
  • Change your passwords regularly and use a different password for every account (a password manager can help with this).
  • Protect your devices with up-to-date internet security software.

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