'Vulnerable in many ways': Hackers target high-profile addiction and mental health patients in data breach

‘Vulnerable in many ways’: Hackers target high-profile addiction and mental health patients in data breach

Medibank customers are still unsure if any of their personal information was among those leaked onto the dark web by hackers overnight.

It appears that the cybercriminals published what they called “naughty” and “nice” lists of prominent people among the leaked data.

The ABC includes multiple reliable sources that the “naughty” list includes around 100 individuals, many with well-known last names, who have undergone treatment for drug or alcohol use, or for mental health such as eating disorders.

Sam Biondo, chief executive of the Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association, said disclosing such private information could cause great harm to those affected.

“It was extremely concerning given the stigma associated with people who have alcohol or drug problems,” he told ABC News.

“They are vulnerable in many ways, given that they have sought help for a problem that they have.”

The ABC has been told that the information currently available on the dark web also includes raw and extremely limited information for approximately 5 million Medibank customers.

Medibank has admitted that the data of 9.7 million past and former customers was breached when hackers gained access to a database of its three brands: Medibank, its economy brand ahm, and its international student arm, ohm.

Cybersecurity expert Troy Hunt said it was clear that a lot of personal data had now been released by the hackers.

“It seems legit,” he told ABC News.

“I just saw someone tweet that the information they found about themselves was accurate.

“I don’t know how many people are actually affected by the data that has already been leaked. But several hundred megabytes of text is actually quite a bit of data.”

Medibank warned on Wednesday that it expects further data leaks from cybercriminals as it continues to deny ransom demands.

‘Lack of communication’

Meanwhile, Medibank customers don’t know if any of their data is now in the public domain.

“Our team is working around the clock so that we can notify customers of their data that we believe has been stolen and remind them of the assistance available,” Medibank Chief Executive David Koczkar said on the social media platform. LinkedIn.

“We have started analyzing data posted on the dark web and will be contacting affected customers. This is a complex process that may take some time.”

However, long-time Medibank customer Juliann Adriani is disappointed with the level of communication from the health insurer so far.

“What worries me a lot is the lack of communication, especially with people who don’t have access to social media or email,” she told ABC News.

“My father is 81 and has not received any correspondence from Medibank Private, although he has been a valued client for a very, very long time.”

For Ms Adriani, the lack of information has been very stressful, amid fears she may be vulnerable to identity theft due to the stolen data.

“A feeling of dread and fear for the unknown.”

Mohique Gajdhar
Mohique Gajdhar is one of approximately 10 million Medibank customers whose personal information may have been published online. (ABC News: John Gunn )

Mohique Gajdhar does not know if his data has been published, has not been contacted directly by Medibank and is concerned about the possible publication of his health data.

“Because it’s a very private thing and shouldn’t have been disclosed and can be misused,” Gajdhar said.

“What prescriptions I take, what doctors I’ve seen, any medical procedures I may have had, all of that data could be leaked.”

Like other international students, he had to take out private health insurance to study in Australia.

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