A hacker group is in possession of at least a “small number” of patients’ data following a cyber attack, NHS Dumfries and Galloway has said.

Reports emerged on Wednesday of a post by the group INC Ransom on its dark web blog, alleging it has three terabytes of data from NHS Scotland.

The post included a “proof pack” of some of the data, which has been confirmed by the board to be genuine.

In a statement posted to the health board’s website, its chief executive Jeff Ace said: “We absolutely deplore the release of confidential patient data as part of this criminal act.

“This information has been released by hackers to evidence that this is in their possession.

READ MORE: Health board hit by cyber attack with ‘significant quantity’ of data at risk

“We are continuing to work with Police Scotland, the National Cyber Security Centre, the Scottish Government, and other agencies in response to this developing situation.”

Patients whose data has been leaked will be contacted by the board, he said, while patient-facing services will continue as normal.

Mr Ace said: “NHS Dumfries and Galloway is very acutely aware of the potential impact of this development on the patients whose data has been published, and the general anxiety which might result within our patient population.”

The board was hit by the cyber attack earlier this month, which it said at the time had put a “significant amount” of data at risk, but it had little impact on services for patients.

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland said: “Police Scotland inquiries are continuing into a cyber attack on NHS Dumfries & Galloway.”

A spokesman for the National Cyber Security Centre said: “We are working with law enforcement, NHS Scotland and the Scottish Government to fully understand the impact of an incident.”

The Scottish Government has been contacted for comment.