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Not paid ransom, hackers dump Australian health data on dark web, wish 'Happy Cyber Security Day'

Canberra, Australia Edited By: Riya TeotiaUpdated: Dec 01, 2022, 04:08 PM IST
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Photograph:(Twitter)

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Hackers dumped the final batch of Australian health data online after being refused the ransom amount by the hacked health insurer Medibank. The stolen data was deliberately dumped on the dark web on Thursday (December 1), coinciding the act with the International Computer Security Day. 

In November, a group of hackers compromised the data of the health insurer Medibank and demanded a hefty ransom amount or else had threatened to sell the data of the firm's customers online. The hackers on Thursday dumped the final batch of that data on the dark web as they ended their extortion attempt data online, declaring: "Case closed". 

The hackers had demanded Medibank to pay $9.7 million to keep the Australian health records off the internet. They placed another demand of one dollar for each of the company's impacted customers, which also included Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. Medibank refused to pay anything on the urging of the federal government, which considers it illegal for hacked companies to pay the ransom amount.  

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The final news from the hackers came on Thursday morning when they said that they had posted the last of the data online and chose this day as it coincides with International Computer Security Day. 

They wrote, "Happy Cyber Security Day. Added folder full. Case closed."

The first batches of stolen data were uploaded on a dark web forum on 9th November, in curated posts highlighting the medical records about drug addiction, pregnancy terminations, and sexually transmitted infections.

In a statement after the data dump, Medibank said on Thursday, "While our investigation continues, there are currently no signs that financial or banking data has been taken." 

In November, Australian Federal Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw stated that the hackers were a group of "loosely affiliated cyber criminals" based in Russia. Cybersecurity experts believe they are linked to the Russian hacker group REvil.

The hackers have been dubbed "scumbags," "scummy criminals," and "rolled gold mongrels" by Australian government ministers.

(With inputs from agencies)

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