City of Helsinki’s Education Division target of data breach

The City of Helsinki’s administrative division that focuses on the city’s education services has been the target of a data breach. According to the information currently available, the perpetrator of the data breach has obtained the usernames and email addresses of the division’s staff and students. The data breach perpetrator has not obtained passwords and has not gained access to any email content. 
Helsinki framed logo.
The extent and effects of the data breach are being investigated. Photo: Laura Oja

The data breach came to the city's attention on 30 April 2024. The matter was investigated without delay and various security measures were implemented.

“We have investigated the scope of the breach over the May Day holiday and continue to do so together with the city’s and external experts. The systems that enabled the unauthorized access to the data network were shut down immediately after the situation was detected. In addition, the city has taken technical measures to limit the damage and has changed passwords in critical systems the hacker may have had access to,” said Hannu Heikkinen, Chief Digital Officer for the City of Helsinki.

”Alongside the measures mentioned above, we have given staff directions on the proper way to protect themselves from so-called phishing attempts, for example. During the investigation, we may have to limit access to telecommunication links and system services on short notice, which may cause temporary interruptions to people’s work,” said Heikkinen.

The extent and effects of the data breach are being investigated. While the data traffic associated with the data breach originated from outside Finland’s borders, it is still not possible to draw conclusions about the perpetrator or motives. 

The City of Helsinki has filed an official notification of a data breach with the Data Protection Ombudsman and the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency’s National Cybersecurity Centre. It has also reported the offence to the police. 

The city will inform the public of the investigation’s progress.