Australia claims recent massive cyberattack carried out by Russian-based hackers

Police commissioner says they also believe some affiliates may also be in other countries.

Australia claims recent massive cyberattack carried out by Russian-based hackers

Australian authorities on Friday claimed that the hackers behind the recent massive data breach were in Russia and announced that they would approach Moscow for further action.

Federal Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw in a statement said this is a crime that has the potential to impact millions of Australians and damage a significant Australian business.

"This is important because we believe that those responsible for the breach are in Russia," Kershaw said, adding that they also believe some affiliates may also be in other countries.

However, the police commissioner did not name any other country in a statement posted on the Australian Police Force (AFP) website.

On Thursday, hackers who stole massive amounts of data from an Australian insurance company released additional sensitive details of the customers, claiming that they had demanded $9.5 million in ransom to not release the customer data, but the company refused.

In a message on the dark web, the hackers released additional sensitive details of the customers and demanded $1 for each file of 9.7 million customers, ABC News reported.

The data of around 10 million customers, including Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, has been compromised in Australia.

"Our intelligence points to a group of loosely affiliated cyber criminals, who are likely responsible for past significant breaches in countries across the world," said the police commissioner.

These cyber criminals operate like a business, with affiliates and associates who support the business, he said, adding that they know who is behind the cyberattack but will not name them.

"What I will say is that we will be holding talks with Russian law enforcement about these individuals," he added.

"To the criminals: We know who you are, and moreover, the AFP has some significant runs on the scoreboard when it comes to bringing overseas offenders back to Australia to face the justice system," Kershaw said.

He reiterated that paying ransoms to cyber criminals is against Australian government policy and that any ransom payment, large or small, fuels the cybercrime business model, putting other Australians at risk.

Earlier, Prime Minister Albanese said they have identified the perpetrators of the recent cyberattack.

"We know where they're coming from, we know who is responsible, and we say that they should be held to account," he told reporters in Sydney.

"The fact is that the nation where these attacks are coming from, should also be held accountable for the disgusting attacks, and the release of information including very private and personal information," he warned.

Hüseyin Demir

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