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Data breach

Medisecure cyber security incident – May 2024

Visit the Department of Home Affairs website for information on the Medisecure cyber security incident.

Data breach support for individuals

Data breaches happen on a frequent basis. Sometimes they are high profile and sometimes they are not.

A data breach is when data is inadvertently shared with or maliciously accessed by an unauthorised person or third-party.

Individuals, small businesses, large organisations and government are all at risk of data breaches. A breach can affect anyone who has provided personal information and anyone who has collected and stored it.

How do I know if I have been impacted by a data breach?

You may hear about a data breach directly from an affected organisation or read about a breach in the media. Under the Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme, an organisation must inform you if a data breach is likely to cause you serious harm.

Sometimes organisations may have had data breaches in the past but not become aware of the breach until later on. During this time, your details may be compromised without your knowledge. This is why it is important that individuals stay vigilant to signs their personal information has been compromised.

What to do if you have been impacted by a data breach?

Individuals that may have been impacted by a data breach are advised to contact their local service centres or relevant government agencies for support.

Relevant links organised by document are provided below.

Document recovery and remediation

Change of name, birth, death and marriage certificates - state service centres

Medicare cards - Medicare offices

Service Australia

Australian passports - Australian Passports Office

Contact, protect yourself and stay informed

Contact if you have any questions with regards to the Document Verification Service aspect of a cyberattack.

You should also:

  • secure and monitor your devices and accounts for unusual activity, and ensure they have the latest security updates
  • enable multi factor authentication for all accounts
  • ensure you have up-to-date antivirus software installed on any device you use to access your emails
  • be wary of emails or social media messages from strangers and do not open attachments or click on links.

If you need assistance with taking these steps, visit the Australian Cyber Security Centre. Be alert for scams referencing the recent data breach. Learn how to protect yourself from scams by visiting Scamwatch.

If you are concerned that your identity has been compromised or you have been a victim of a scam, contact your bank immediately and call IDCARE on 1800 595 160.

If your identity has been stolen, you can apply for a Commonwealth Victims' Certificate.

If you believe you are victim of a cybercrime, go to ReportCyber.

The following websites can help you protect yourself and stay informed

What is the Australian Government doing to protect your identity?

What is the Australian Government doing to protect your identity?

The government is looking at all possible solutions to protect and reissue victims' identity documents.

The Attorney-General's Department has established a Commonwealth Credential Protection Register to help stop compromised identities from being used fraudulently (further details below). As the companies impacted provides data, issuing agencies will assess and determine whether to add credentials to the register. As at 14 October 2022, the register includes around 100,000 Australian passports. These passports can still be used for international travel.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has launched operations to investigate the criminal aspects of the breaches. The Australian Federal Police has also launched a joint partnership (Operation GUARDIAN) with law enforcement to combat cybercrime under the Australian Federal Police led JPC3, the private sector and industry. Operation GUARDIAN is focused on shielding affected customers, where they can be identified, and working with industry to enhance protections for members of the public. The Australian Federal Police is also monitoring online forums, including the internet and dark web, for criminals trying to exploit the breached data. The Australian Federal Police will not hesitate to take action against those who are breaking the law.

If your Medicare card details have been exposed, Services Australia will allow you to replace your Medicare card for free. If you believe there has been unauthorised activity to any of your Services Australia accounts, contact their Scams and Identity Theft Help Desk.

Credential Protection Register

The Credential Protection Register stops the verification of known compromised credentials (i.e. credentials that have been subjected to a data breach) through the Document Verification Service. This means they cannot be used for fraudulent identity verification purposes. However, this also means rightful owners will not be able to use them online. New credentials issued following the data breach will work as normal. In the interim, impacted individuals should consider using alternative credentials or speak to service providers that ask for identification for other options such as visiting the service in person to present the credential.

Prior to the establishment of the Credential Protection Register, compromised credentials would successfully verify through the Document Verification Service as real and valid identity documents belonging to real people.

The Attorney-General's Department will continue to work with key stakeholders to refine the Credential Protection Register to ensure it provides a longstanding identity recovery and resilience mechanism for all Australians.

What does this mean for you?

If you have recently had your identity credentials (i.e. Australian passport or driver licence) compromised in a data breach, the details of your compromised credential may be uploaded to the Credential Protection Register. The inclusion of your compromised credential on the Credential Protection Register is automatically done by the organisation that issues the credential based on your risk profile. You’re not required to take any action.

You should consult with the credential issuer on whether the credential should be replaced. Until replacement occurs, your credential will continue to function for the purpose it was issued (for example allow you to drive a car or travel internationally). However, your credentials will not function for the purpose of confirming your identity.

Once your compromised credential has been replaced, the details of your old credential will remain on the Credential Protection Register to ensure it cannot be used for future fraudulent verification purposes. Leaving your compromised credential on the register will have no impact on your ability to verify your new identity document.

Where can I get help if I’m a victim of identity crime?

Suspected victims of an identity crime can contact IDCARE. IDCARE is Australia and New Zealand's national identity and cyber support service.

Report a privacy breach

If you think an organisation has breached your privacy, contact them directly. If you are not happy with their response, you can contact:

If you think there is a risk of serious harm from a privacy breach, contact the Commissioner immediately.

Report an identity crime or a scam

If you think you are a victim of identity crime, contact your local police. You can also get help through IDCARE – the national identity and cyber support service for Australia and New Zealand.

Report a scam to SCAMWatch or to ReportCyber.

Report a suspected/stolen identity

If you think you are a victim of identity crime, contact your local police. You can also get help through IDCARE – the national identity and cyber support service for Australia and New Zealand.

Report a cybercrime incident or vulnerability to ReportCyber.