Medibank confirmed earlier today that the criminal behind a data breach that impacted roughly four million Australians has released files on a dark web forum.
According to a company’s blog post, the leaked data includes personal data like names, addresses, dates of birth, phone numbers, email addresses and Medicare numbers for ahm customers. Also included were passport numbers for international students and some health claim data.
“The files appear to be a sample of the data that we earlier determined was accessed by the criminal,” wrote Emily Ritchie, the senior executive of external affairs at Medibank.
“We will continue to work around the clock to inform customers of what data we believe has been stolen and any of their data included in the files on the dark web and provide advice on what customers should do.”
Further, the executive said that Medibank is currently working with the Australian Government on this incident, which is also being investigated by the Australian Federal Police.
“Over the last 24 hours, we wrote to our customers to alert them to the threat from the criminal that they could begin releasing stolen Medibank customer data on the dark web and that the criminal could also attempt to contact customers directly,” Ritchie added.
Finally, the executive said Medibank expects the criminal to continue releasing files on the dark web.
The publishing of the data on the dark web was expected after Medibank refused to pay the attacker’s ransom demand earlier this week, according to Julia O’Toole, CEO of MyCena Security Solutions.
“However, this seems like a risk Medibank was willing to take, even though this could significantly compromise its customers. Whether this was a move to stand up against the attackers, it is customers who are now paying the price,” O’Toole told Infosecurity.
According to the security expert, the health information of 200 private citizens posted online is highly confidential and cannot be changed.
“Losing the privacy of such information is not only devastating, but victims must also be on the lookout for phishing scams coming not just through email, but also via the phone and post. Furthermore, the risk of identity theft has just skyrocketed for each of these people now,” O’Toole added.
She added that the Medibank data breach is only the latest in Australia and possibly not the last one.
“We may not have seen the end of this long chain of attacks that has rocked the country in recent months. Other countries should be warned this can become a template for other criminals to follow,” O’Toole concluded.
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