Cancer Clinic’s Chilling Ultimatum: Pay Ransom or Face Patient Harassment

Cyber Security, Newsletter

Crown Princess Mary Cancer Centre, a prominent Sydney-based cancer clinic, has recently been targeted by a notorious ransomware group, Medusa. The is among many Cyber Attacks targeting Australian businesses in recent months. The cyber criminals issued an ultimatum demanding $100,000 within a seven-day deadline, threatening to otherwise harass the clinic’s cancer patients by accessing their medical documents and potentially demanding money from them. The centre is part of the Sydney West Cancer Network and provides crucial research, prevention, diagnostic, treatment, and rehabilitation programs for cancer patients and their families. 

Medusa has a reputation for ruthlessness, as evidenced by their ransomware attack on the Minneapolis Public Schools district in the US earlier this year. The group published highly sensitive information about students online after the district administration refused to pay a ransom of $1.48 million. Medusa posted their threat on their blog, complete with a seven-day countdown timer and a button to pay the $100,000 ransom to “delete all data”. 

NSW Health, which learned of the threat, is currently investigating whether other public health systems have been compromised. A spokesperson stated, “The safety and security of all NSW Health systems remains of the highest importance and is continually monitored and safeguarded.” NSW Health is working closely with State and Federal Government cyber security agencies to ensure an appropriate response to the threat. Initial investigations suggest that neither NSW Health databases nor Crown Princess Mary Cancer Centre databases have been impacted by the attack. This incident comes on the heels of a massive data breach at Medibank, which exposed 9.7 million customers, leading to a class action lawsuit launched by law firm Slater and Gordon. 

How can you protect your business from similar data breaches and ransomware attacks? Our Endpoint Detection & Response service uses advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning to monitor for unusual or suspicious activity from the result of malware, ransomware, or unauthorised access on all of your business endpoints and block them in their tracks. To find out more about EDR click the link below or get in touch with our Cyber Security Specialists to talk about your business Cyber Security policies and strategies.

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