Australian police announced Friday that Russian hackers were behind a cyberattack on an Australian health insurance giant that hit 9.7 million customers and former customers, including the prime minister. A “loosely affiliated group of cybercriminals” carried out the cyber attack from Russia, where it is based, said Reece Kershaw, an Australian Federal Police official.
Medibank, one of the main private health insurers in the country, admitted this week that hackers had been able to access the personal data of its policyholders. After publishing an initial “sample” of this data on Wednesday, the hackers published a second on Thursday on a dark web forum – which cannot be found using traditional browsers.
In particular, they contained personal information about hundreds of people. The first information revealed appeared to be selected to cause significant harm, targeting people being treated for substance abuse, sexually transmitted infections or pregnancy terminations. The insurance company has so far refused to pay the hackers.