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Australia Wants To Hunt Down The Scumbags In Ransom Case

One of the most explosive ransomware cases is currently shaking the public in Australia. The case went so far that even the government of the country forgot all diplomatic language and resorted to harsh words.

Clare O’Neil, the Home Secretary responsible for IT security , said that “the scumbags will be hunted down” . In addition, the case is also a wake-up call for law enforcement in the area. The minister wants to set up a new police unit with around a hundred officers who will be recruited from several authorities and who will work continuously on crimes in the digital space in the future.

The background to all this is a massive data theft at Medibank, one of Australia’s largest health insurance companies. With this, the attackers captured data on millions of customers. When Medibank refused to pay a roughly $10 million “ransom,” the perpetrators began releasing the stolen data. Very sensitive medical information about numerous Australian citizens was made public, including information about abortions and alcohol problems.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said he was “disgusted with the perpetrators”. He has given the Australian Federal Police (AFP) the widest range of powers legally possible for their investigations. The investigators also want to have found traces of a ransomware group from Russia, as announced.

Russians rule with a cold

The Russian embassy in Australia expressed disappointment that AFP identified Russian criminals as perpetrators without contacting Russian officials before the public disclosure. Instead of making public accusations, it would be better to contact the Russian law enforcement authorities. However, practice in the past has shown time and again that Russia is a quasi-safe haven for ransomware groups: as long as they make sure that no Russian citizens are among their victims, they actually have nothing to fear.

The Australian police are already certain that they can be successful on their own. “The smartest and toughest people in our country are going to hack the hackers,” O’Neil explained. “AFP has some significant successes on the scoreboard when it comes to bringing foreign criminals into Australia to be tried,” added AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw.