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Russian hackers responsible for attacks on Medibank; AFP

By Millie Muroi

The Australian Federal Police have identified cybercriminals in Russia as perpetrators of a cyberattack on Medibank that exposed 9.7 million customers to fraud and theft from the use of their personal records.

At a news conference this afternoon, AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw said a group of cybercriminals in Russia was to blame.

"We believe those responsible for the violations are in Russia."

“Our intelligence points to a loosely affiliated group of cybercriminals who may be responsible for past significant abuses in countries around the world.

“These cybercriminals operate like a business with affiliates and partners backing the business.”

Kershaw said some of the affiliates may be in other countries and AFP was working with domestic agencies as well as international networks including Interpol in the ongoing investigation.

AFP is in charge of the Australian INTERPOL National Central Bureau which has direct contact with one in Moscow.

The National Central Bureau cooperates with cross-border investigations, operations and arrests.

"We will hold talks with Russian law enforcement about these people. It is important to recognize that Russia benefits from the sharing of intelligence and data shared through Interpol, and with that comes responsibility and accountability,” Kershaw said.

Australia's decision to name the source country of the attack is a rare move, but Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said he allowed the release of the findings because the attack needed to be condemned.

Kershaw said AFP believed they knew which individual was responsible, but "will not name them."

Here's what he said to Australians:

“I know Australians are angry, distressed and seeking answers about the highly sensitive and highly private information that has been released by criminals in breach of Medibank's private database.

AFP and our partners will not give up bringing those responsible to justice.

Investigators under Operation Guardian are also scouring the internet and the dark web to identify people accessing this personal information and trying to profit from it."

And for the criminals:

"We know who you are, and what's more, the AFP has had some significant steps in terms of bringing overseas offenders back to Australia to face the justice system."

Kershaw stressed that Australian government policy does not justify paying ransoms to cyber criminals. "Every ransom payment, small or large, fuels the cybercrime business model, putting other Australians at risk," he said. This article was written by EDUKASI CAMPUS.

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