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After Attacking Medibank, Hackers Leak Patient Abortion Details On Dark Web

Image for article titled After Attacking Medical Center, Hackers Flee Patients & # 39;  Dark Web Abortion Details

Photo: MOHAMED FAROOQ/AFP (Getty Images)

After attacking a major healthcare provider in Australia earlier this year, cybercriminals dumped a large selection of data onto the internet this week, including customers’ personal health information. The leak would include sensitive documents related to certain patients’ medical procedures, including pregnancies and abortions.

The victim, health insurance giant Medibank, was compromise by ransomware hackers earlier this year. The gang demanded a ransom of nearly $10 million from the company, but the company refused. After negotiations failed, the criminals began posting parts of the stolen data on the internet this week, including information about the company’s customers.

On the hackers’ website, a a file dubbed ‘abortions’ was released along with other leaked health information Thursday night. The Guardian reports that the file would contain information on “the procedures claimed by an insured related to the termination of pregnancy, including nonviable pregnancy, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, miscarriages and readmission for complications”.

Motherboard reports that the leaked documents about these and other patients included sensitive information, including “the patients’ home addresses, phone numbers and passport numbers, as well as details of health issues such as alcohol abuse, anxiety, cannabis addiction and opioid addictions”.

The group responsible for this ethically heinous leak has been dubbed “BlogXXby threat researchers. Australian police say the group may be linked to a well-known, but thought to be extinct, Russian-speaking ransomware gang known as REvil. Why exactly REvil is suspected of being involved is unclear.

Clare O’Neil, Australia’s Home Secretary, said on Wednesday that police were work to find those responsible. “I want the scumbags behind this attack to know that the smartest, toughest people in this country are going after you,” she said. “I want to say, especially to the women whose private health information was compromised overnight, as Minister of Cyber ​​Security but more importantly as a woman, this shouldn’t have happened, and I know it’s a really difficult time.”

O’Neil also said his office has been in conversation with Medibank and the company has agreed to provide support services to those affected by the breach. “Australians expect the support to be there when they need it,” she said. “That’s why we asked Medibank to operate a one-stop-shop model, to help citizens access support made available by Medibank, the civil sector, and state and federal governments.”

The gang suspected of being “behind” the attack, REvil, has a prolific track record but was reportedly dismantled by Russia’s Federal Security Service in January. The gang before took the credit for a number of high-profile ransomware attacks, including a sophisticated supply chain attack against software company Kaseya that managed to infect over a thousand businesses.