Friday, May 24, 2024

Medibank Refuses to Pay Ransom – Ransomware Gang Threatens To Release 9.7 Million Users Data

A ransomware gang threatened to reveal the personal information of millions of Medibank customers after the private health insurance firm declared it will not pay a ransom demand.

Medibank is a leading private health insurer, providing health insurance through our Medibank and ahm brands as well as a range of health services across Australia.

In this case, Medibank declared that no ransom payment will be made to the criminal responsible for this data theft.

The ransomware group threatened to release data purportedly stolen from Medibank’s computers within 24 hours in a new entry uploaded to their data leak website today.

Particularly, the ransomware attack against Australian health insurance firm Medibank Private Limited last month has been attributed to a ransomware group that some believe is a relaunch of REvil and others track as BlogXX.

Data Medibank Believes Was Exposed In the Breach

  • Name, date of birth, address, phone number, and email address for approximately 9.7 million current and former customers and authorized representatives
  • Medicare numbers (but not expiry dates) for ahm health insurance (ahm) customers
  • Passport numbers (but not expiry dates) and visa details for international student customers 
  • Health claims data for roughly 480,000 Medibank, ahm, and international customers
  • Health provider details, including names, provider numbers, and addresses

Medibank has issued a warning to customers, stating “criminals could also attempt to contact [them] directly”.

According to the firm, it is collaborating with the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Cyber Security Centre to look into cybercrime and try to stop the sharing and sale of Medibank customers’ data.

“Today, we’ve announced that no ransom payment will be made to the criminal responsible for this data theft,” Medibank said.

“Based on the extensive advice we have received from cybercrime experts we believe there is only a limited chance paying a ransom would ensure the return of our customers’ data and prevent it from being published.”

Further, the firm said that paying the attackers would probably encourage them to target clients who had their data compromised.

“There is a strong chance that paying puts more people in harm’s way by making Australia a bigger target,” the company said. 

“This decision is consistent with the position of the Australian Government.”

Reports say attackers have not gained access to financial information (credit card and banking details), primary identity documents (e.g., driver’s licenses), or health claims data for extras services (like dental, physio, optical, and psychology).

Customers Should be Alert to all Online Communications & Transactions:

  • Be alert for any phishing scams via phone, post, or email;
  • Verify any communications received to ensure they are legitimate;
  • Do not open texts from unknown or suspicious numbers; and
  • Change passwords regularly with ‘strong’ passwords, and use multi-factor authentications on any online accounts where available.

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Guru baran
Guru baran
Gurubaran is a co-founder of Cyber Security News and GBHackers On Security. He has 10+ years of experience as a Security Consultant, Editor, and Analyst in cybersecurity, technology, and communications.

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