MediSecure collapses into administration and liquidation after cyber ransom attack

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A national medical prescription provider has collapsed less than three weeks after a hacker attack.

On Tuesday, digital prescription company MediSecure Limited went into receivership, while a subsidiary of the company, Operations MDS Pty Ltd, went into liquidation.

Vaughan Strawbridge and Paul Harlond of the restructuring firm FTI Consulting were appointed joint administrators and liquidators of both companies shortly before midday on Wednesday.

The Melbourne-based company was founded in 2009 and specialises in providing electronic prescriptions to healthcare professionals.

But last month, MediSecure fell victim to a large-scale ransomware attack that apparently made it impossible to continue business operations.

Customer data, including personal information and limited health information, was published on the dark web.

In mid-May, the eHealth provider announced that it had identified a cybersecurity incident and was working closely with cyber authorities.

“MediSecure is aware that a dataset containing our customers’ personal information and limited health information has been made available on a darknet forum,” the company said.

“We urge Australians not to search for this data. Accessing stolen sensitive or personal information on the dark web only encourages future cybercrime activities against Australian businesses.”

National Cybersecurity Coordinator Michelle McGuinness said she was informed of the MediSecure breach at the time.

“I am working with Australian government, state and territory agencies to coordinate a government-wide response to this incident,” McGuinness said last month.

“The Australian Signals Directorate Australian Cyber ​​​​Security Centre is aware of the incident and the Australian Federal Police are investigating.”

Home Secretary Clare O’Neil also got involved, calling together a stronghold of intelligence and security officials in response to the MediSecure crisis.

“I have been informed about this incident in recent days and the government has today convened a National Coordination Mechanism on this matter,” she wrote on X.

MediSecure’s newly appointed liquidators said they were cooperating with both the relevant authorities and creditors.

“The company has been in contact with the Australian government to provide information on this incident,” Strawbridge said.

“We will be speaking to the Australian government about what they require of the company and what the next steps are in response to the cyber incident.”

The first creditors’ meeting will take place later this month.

This comes after another healthcare provider collapsed late last month, albeit for very different reasons.

“Leading” Australian telemedicine provider Ereports Pty Ltd has been placed into judicial liquidation because its debts are estimated to be over $10 million.

In 2022, health insurance giant Medibank fell victim to a major cyber hack that affected the personal data of 9.7 million people.

The attack is said to be linked to a known ransomware group based in Russia.

In November, the federal government released its seven-year cybersecurity strategy, which provides $565 million to help companies report malicious intrusions and ransomware attacks.

The Australian Signals Directorate said in its annual cyber threat update that police received nearly 94,000 cybercrime reports in 2022-23, an increase of 23 percent over the previous year.

The cyber agency revealed that China was a major sponsor of hacking attacks on Australia’s critical infrastructure and businesses.

– With NCA Newswire

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