MediSecure Hit by Major Ransomware Attack, Compromises Customer Data

  • Last updated May 16, 2024
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Melbourne-based digital prescription company MediSecure has temporarily shut down its website and phone services following a significant ransomware attack that compromised its customers’ personal and health information. The breach, confirmed through a statement on the company’s website this Thursday, is said to have originated from a third-party vendor.

The incident has triggered a comprehensive response from Australian federal authorities, with investigations led by the Australian Signals Directorate’s Cyber Security Centre and the Australian Federal Police. This response is still in its preliminary stages, and public health systems and hospitals reportedly remain unaffected.

Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil has reported that the government has activated the National Coordination Mechanism in light of the breach and is closely monitoring the situation. O’Neil emphasized the severity of the breach and the swift actions taken by the government to address the ongoing crisis.

This cyber attack on MediSecure echoes previous significant breaches in Australia, including the 2022 cyber hack on Medibank, which affected 9.7 million people and was attributed to a Russian ransomware group.

The federal government has since intensified its cybersecurity measures, unveiling a seven-year cyber security strategy in November, backed by a $565 million investment to support businesses in reporting and responding to cyber intrusions and ransomware attacks.

The Australian Signals Directorate’s latest cyber threat update highlighted an alarming 23 percent increase in cybercrime reports over the past year, with nearly 94,000 incidents reported in 2022-23. The agency highlighted major cyber threats from foreign entities, specifically identifying China as a significant source of cyber-attacks targeting Australian infrastructure and businesses.

In response to the ransomware attack on MediSecure, cybersecurity experts emphasize the importance of robust digital defenses for protecting sensitive health data. The best VPN services can help secure internet connections and shield communications from potential cyber threats, which is crucial for healthcare providers handling personal and health information.

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