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Australian sanctions against Russian cyber criminal

Punitive measures against those responsible for the attack on Medibank

Medibank hack exposed data of 10M Australians. The government has sanctioned Russian Ermakov, a suspect in the attack, and is strengthening national cybersecurity.

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Following a far-reaching digital incursion that hit Medibank, one of Australia's largest health insurance providers, the government has taken tough action. Aleksandr Gennadievich Ermakov, the Russian cybercriminal believed to be responsible, is now in the sights of Australian authorities. Travel restrictions and economic sanctions have been imposed on him, setting the stage for a harsh legal response against anyone who supports him financially, risking up to a decade in prison and large fines.

Details on the attack on Medibank

The Medibank data breach, which occurred in November 2022, exposed extremely sensitive data affecting nearly 10 million citizens, including Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. Despite the ransom demand being $9.7 million, the company refused to give in to the demands, a decision that led to the stolen data being published on the dark web. The action, primarily attributed to REvil, then saw the identification of a group of Russian cybercriminals as the main suspects.

International collaboration for identification

The work carried out by Australian intelligence agencies, supported by the US NSA and the British GCHQ, led to the identification of Ermakov after a complicated investigation lasting 18 months. Defense Minister Richard Marles confirmed the application of unprecedented sanctions against the individual responsible, a 33-year-old Russian, following the attack that shook the nation's digital infrastructure.

Increased IT security

The Australian Government has responded to the increase in cybercrime with a new strategy, outlined in the Australian Cyber Security Strategy 2023-2030. Efforts are focused on hardening the country's digital defenses, leaving no room for security compromises. With these moves, the executive intends to send a signal of firmness and non-tolerance towards such threats to the integrity of national data.

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01/24/2024 10:44

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