December 8, 2022
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) blames Russian hackers for the massive Medibank data breach that saw the theft and release of medical information of 10 million people.The destructive potential of the Medibank data breach is hard to calculate, but authorities said it would affect millions of people and damage many Australian businesses.A ransomware gang hit…

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) blames Russian hackers for the massive Medibank data breach that saw the theft and release of medical information of 10 million people.

The destructive potential of the Medibank data breach is hard to calculate, but authorities said it would affect millions of people and damage many Australian businesses.

A ransomware gang hit Australia’s largest health insurer Medibank, but the company refused to pay the ransom. As usual, hackers didn’t just lock the systems; they also spent time in the company’s infrastructure and stole a lot of data. The first estimates put the number at 10 million customer records and information on health workers and company employees.

“The AFP is undertaking covert measures and working around the clock with our domestic agencies and our international networks, including INTERPOL,” said AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw. “This is important because we believe that those responsible for the breach are in Russia. Our intelligence points to a group of loosely affiliated cyber criminals, who are likely responsible for past significant breaches in countries across the world.”

Given that so many ransomware gangs operate from Russian and other countries from the old Soviet bloc, it’s not really a surprise. However, AFP says some of their affiliates might be present in other countries as well.

“What I will say is that we will be holding talks with Russian law enforcement about these individuals,” the commissioner also said. “It is important to note that Russia benefits from the intelligence-sharing and data shared through INTERPOL, and with that comes responsibilities and accountability.”

Historically, Russia hasn’t been forthcoming about hacking groups operating behind its borders. In fact, some of the groups tracked seem to be working under the protection of various government agencies in Russia.

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