Hacker demands $10 million to stop leak of Australians’ medical records | News about cybercrimes
Cyber extortionist publishes medical information purporting to show details of abortions and addiction, HIV treatment.
A cyber extortionist has demanded almost $10 million to stop leaking medical records of Australians caught up in one of the country’s worst cyberattacks.
In a message posted on the dark web early Thursday morning, the hacker said it was demanding $1 from Medibank, Australia’s largest private health insurer, for the 9.7 million customers affected by a massive data breach last month.
The cybercriminal or criminal organization also released information it purports to link customers to their abortions after releasing a “naughty list” earlier this week that appeared to show. clients who received treatment for addiction, mental health issues and HIV.
Local media have linked the dark web forum used to post the hacked data to the REvil criminal group, which Russian authorities said they shut down earlier this year at the request of the United States.
Medibank chief executive David Kochkar on Thursday condemned the hack as “disgraceful” while apologizing to customers.
“We remain committed to communicating fully and transparently with customers, and we will contact customers whose data has been published on the dark web,” Kochkar said.
“Weaponizing people’s personal information to extort payments is malicious and an attack on the most vulnerable members of our community.”
Medibank refused to pay the ransom, citing advice from cybercrime experts that it would not ensure the return of customer information and could “put more people at risk, making Australia a bigger target”.
The Australian Federal Police, which is investigating the cyberattack, warned that downloading or even simply accessing the data could be a criminal offence.
Home Secretary Claire O’Neill described the hackers as “disgraceful criminals”.
“I cannot express the disgust I have for the scum behind this criminal act,” O’Neill told parliament on Wednesday.
The cyber attack, first disclosed last month, is the latest in a series of major data breaches to rock Australia.
Optus, Australia’s second largest telecommunications provider, announced in September that up to 10 million customers’ data had been compromised in a cyber attack against the company.
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