The recent security breaches with Medibank Private Health Insurance have demonstrated just how dangerous Cyber Crime is. However, understanding this developing area of law can be complicated. But whether you're just curious, or have been personally affected and wondering “what do I do if my details have been hacked?” New South Lawyers’ Criminal Law and Intellectual Property Law lawyers are here to help.

What constitutes cyber crime?

According to the Oxford Dictionary, Cyber Crimes are defined as “criminal activities carried out by means of computers or the internet.” In the Australian legal profession, Cyber Crime offences are those found in Commonwealth legislation within parts 10.7 and 10.8 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 and include:
  1. Computer intrusions
  2.  Unauthorised modification of data, including destruction of data
  3. Unauthorised impairment of electronic communications, including denial of service attacks
  4.  The creation and distribution of malicious software (for example, malware, viruses, ransomware)
  5.  Dishonestly obtaining or dealing in personal financial information.

Common examples of Cyber Crime

To date, some of the most common examples of computer-related offences and technology-enabled Cyber Crime have included the use of a computer as an instrument to further a range of illegal ends, such as committing identity theft and fraud (where personal information is stolen and used), trafficking in child pornography and intellectual property, or violating privacy. It has also included: theft of financial or card payment data; theft and sale of corporate data; cyber-extortion (demanding money to prevent a threatened attack); crypto-jacking (where hackers mine cryptocurrency using resources they do not own); cyber-espionage (where hackers access government or company data); interfering with systems in a way that compromises a network; infringing copyright; illegal gambling; and selling illegal items online. However, as a relatively new and emerging area of law - with different examples continually being added to the category - the legal profession is often challenged by the fact that developments in Cyber Crime are often faster than the responses required to keep up with it. This was recently evidenced in the security breaches and threats to release private data involving Medibank customers

The Medibank data breach explained

Though not the first (with Optus and Woolworths also falling prey earlier this year), Medibank is among the largest organisations in Australia to experience data breaches this year. In this instance (as with other previous similar situations) cybercriminals used fake or compromised credentials to gain access to lead to the data and personal details of millions of customers - which went on to be compromised, threatened to be leaked, and even exposed.Following the unmet ransom threats, this week alone, the Medibank hackers published the personal medical information of 100 people – separating them into “naughty” and “nice” lists. In the former, were those with medical histories that might be deemed undesirable (including drug dependencies and mental health conditions), while others conditions were deemed “nice”.Although class legal action has been launched against Medibank - with the data breach said to be a betrayal of Medibank Private’s customers and a breach of the Privacy Act - this is also clear example of a Cyber Crime by the hacker.So, whether you are generally curious what that means for you or have been personally affected and want to know "What do I do if my details have been hacked?", then read on...

What do I do if my details have been hacked?

If you are concerned that your personal data has been compromised online there are several steps you can take to contain the damage and keep your personal finances, credit score, and identity safe from criminals. These include changing your passwords, signing up for two-factor authentication, checking for updates from the company, and watching your accounts for unauthorised transactions - and notifying your financial institution immediately if you do spot any unusual activity.

New South Lawyers’ communications are intended to provide commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this communication.

To find out more, chat with a member of New South Lawyers' Criminal & Intellectual Property Law Teams today.