Australian police announced on Friday that Russian hackers were behind a cyber-attack on an Australian health insurance giant that affected 9.7 million customers and former customers, including the Prime Minister.
A “group of loosely affiliated cyber criminals” carried out the cyber-attack from Russia, where they are based, said Reece Kershaw, an Australian federal police official.
Medibank, one of the country’s largest private health insurers, acknowledged this week that hackers had gained access to the personal data of its policyholders. After publishing a first “sample” of the data on Wednesday, the hackers published a second one on Thursday on a dark web forum – which cannot be found using conventional browsers.
It contained particularly personal information on hundreds of people. The first information released appeared to have been selected to cause significant harm, targeting people being treated for drug addiction, sexually transmitted infections or pregnancy terminations.
The insurer has so far refused to pay the hackers.