Hacker leaks Aussies’ health records

SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — Hackers on Wednesday began leaking sensitive medical records stolen from an Australian health insurer with nearly 10 million customers, including the prime minister, after the firm refused to pay a ransom.

Medibank told investors that a “sample” of data from some 9.7 million clients had been posted on a “dark web forum” — and that more leaks were likely.

Sensitive records were posted anonymously in the early hours of Wednesday and included names, birth dates, passport numbers and information on medical claims for hundreds of customers.

The victims were separated into a “naughty” list and a “nice” list.

Some on the “naughty” list had numeric codes that appeared to link them to drug addiction, alcohol abuse and human immuno-deficiency virus.

For example, one record carried an entry that read: “p_diag: F122.”

F122 corresponds with “cannabis dependence” under the International Classification of Diseases, published by the World Health Organization.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, himself a Medibank customer, said the attack was a “wake-up call” for corporate Australia.

“I am a Medibank Private customer as well and it will be of concern that some of this information has been put out there,” he said.

The leaked data was posted on a dark web forum that cannot be found using conventional web browsers.

Medibank — which provides private health insurance to Australians wishing to supplement universal public healthcare — informed the Australian Securities Exchange about the leak shortly before the market opened.

The hackers were following through on an earlier threat to publish the data unless Medibank paid an undisclosed ransom.

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