A major cyber incident has occurred with Medibank Private Limited (Medibank) health insurance. A hacker has accessed personal information of 9.7 million members and former members.
This affects international students studying in Australia who have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) with Medibank Private or the Australian Health Management Group Pty Ltd (ahm), a Medibank Private Ltd subsidiary.
Medibank’s cybercrime investigation has established that international student customers’ personal data and significant amounts of health claims data have been accessed.
How is the Australian Government supporting impacted international students?
The Australian Government is working closely with Medibank to provide all the support possible to help resolve this situation and protect international student customers who may have been affected.
Services Australia and the Australian Government’s Department of Health and Aged Care are working closely with Medibank to identify exactly what information has been exposed and how to protect it.
The Department of Education has developed a factsheet, which has also been translated into six languages. To view the factsheet, click here.
How is Medibank supporting impacted international students?
Medibank has begun directly contacting affected customers to provide support and guidance on what to do next.
Medibank has also announced a support package for all customers affected by the cybercrime, including international students. The support package includes:
- A hardship package to provide financial support for customers who are in a uniquely vulnerable position as a result of this crime. These people will be supported on an individual basis.
- Access to specialist identity protection advice and resources from IDCARE.
- Free identity monitoring services for customers who have had their primary ID compromised.
- Reimbursement of fees for re-issue of identity documents that have been fully compromised.
Medibank has established specialised teams to help customers who receive scam threats. Customers should send any suspicious emails or texts to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
International students can also contact Medibank by phone on 134 148 (+61 3 9862 1095 if calling from outside Australia) or can stay informed on the latest updates via Medibank’s information page.
What else can international students do?
If you are concerned that your identity has been compromised, please contact your embassy and your bank immediately, and call IDCARE on 1800 595 160.
Be alert for scams referencing this incident. You can take a number of steps to protect yourself, including:
- Look out for any unusual activity on any of your personal accounts or devices.
- Do not click on any links from emails or text messages even if it seems to be legitimate. It is best to visit their website directly.
- Change your passwords regularly and make sure they don’t contain any of your personal information such as your birth date.
- Enable "Two-Step Verification" or "Multifactor Authentication" for all accounts such as email and social media.
- If you believe you are victim of a cybercrime, you should submit a report using ReportCyber.
If you need assistance with taking these steps, please visit cyber.gov.au.
Mental health support
If you have been affected by the cyber incident and are feeling anxious or stressed, please call the 24/7 Student Health & Support Line.
- Medibank customers call: 1800 887 283
- ahm customers call: 1800 006 745
Interpreter services are also available.
Other useful resources
- You can learn how to protect yourself from scams by visiting Scamwatch.
- Moneysmart provides free tools, tips and guidance to support people to take control of their finances, including information on what to do in the event of identity theft.
- The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) provides information on what to do if your identity has been stolen.
- The Australian Cyber Security Centre leads the Australian Government’s efforts to improve cyber security and provides advice and information on how to protect yourself online.
- The Department of Education has developed a factsheet, which has also been translated into six languages. To view the factsheet, click here.