The ransomware attack that caused last week’s hack and outage of internet services at health insurance company Medibank has been verified. One of Australia’s major private health insurance companies, Medibank Private Limited, insures more than 3.7 million individuals and employs 4,000 people.
The company’s CEO David Koczkar issued an updated statement in which he expressed regret for the brief service interruption, acknowledged that a ransomware assault had occurred, and notified consumers that business was resumed as usual. “Our ongoing investigation has found the unusual activity we detected in part of our IT network was consistent with a possible ransomware threat,” details the statement.
Koczkar claims that although the business was the victim of a ransomware attack, no systems were encrypted. Additionally, even though they are still looking into the situation, there is no proof that the attackers took any client data. On Wednesday, October 12, the firm discovered suspicious activity on its network and quickly shut down some of its systems, including those geared toward customers, to minimize the possibility of data loss.
About 2.8 million emails and SMS were sent out by Medibank on Friday to inform its clients of the security breach and to explain the reasons for the outages. The warnings emphasized that the investigation was still underway while offering the initial guarantees about the security of private information. The notification made recently hasn’t altered anything in that regard. Therefore, the integrity of IT systems and consumer data doesn’t appear to have been impacted by the hack.
“As a further precaution, we’ve put in place additional security measures across our network, and we continue to work with external cybersecurity experts and the Australian Government’s lead cyber agency, with our forensic investigation continuing,” concludes Medibank’s statement.
In the previous several weeks, there have been several high-profile cybersecurity incidents in Australia, including:
- 11 million subscribers of the telecommunications company Optus had their data stolen by hackers.
- The leaking of employee data belonging to Telstra due to a third-party breach.
- The disclosure of the Australian Federal Police’s (AFP) secret agent names and operations information due to a Colombian government database leak.
The Australian government is anticipated to enact tighter data protection regulations due to recent breaches. Developing a mechanism for preventing and responding to cyberattacks is also being explored.