Federal Government Sanctions Russian Citizen for Medibank Cyber Attack

These sanctions are the first of their kind to be used against a cyber threat actor since their enactment in December 2021.
01 February 2024
Image by CyberBeat

The Australian Federal government has publicly identified and imposed sanctions on Aleksandr Ermakov, a Russian national believed to be involved in the cyber attack on Medibank. Ermakov, also known by aliases such as Alexander Ermakov, GustaveDore, aiiis_ermak, blade_runner, and JimJones, has been targeted with "financial sanctions" and a travel ban.

These sanctions make it illegal to provide assets to Ermakov or engage in any transactions involving his assets, including through cryptocurrency wallets or ransomware payments. This marks the first time the newly passed sanctions powers have been implemented against a cyber threat actor.

The investigation into the Medibank cyber attack involved collaboration between the Australian government and Microsoft. Mark Anderson, the national security officer of Microsoft A/NZ, highlighted the efforts of talented individuals behind the scenes in tracking down these criminals. In fact, Microsoft played a significant role by providing crucial information to the Australian Signals Directorate, ultimately leading to the identification of the perpetrators.

The federal government's swift action against Ermakov serves as a response to the growing cyber threats and reinforces the seriousness of such attacks.

- CyberBeat


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