Who is Aleksandr Ermakov, the Russian 33-year-old linked to the Medibank Private cyber attack?

Major private health insurer Medibank Private was targeted in a cyber attack in October 2022. 

The personal data of up to 9.7 million customers — including Medicare numbers and sensitive health information — was compromised. 

After demanding ransom money, the criminals published some of the data on the dark web. 

More than a year later, the federal government has publicly named a man it says was involved in the attack and slapped sanctions on him.

We heard about this during a surprise press conference with Foreign Minister Penny Wong, Defence Minister Richard Marles and Cyber Security Minister Claire O’Neil this morning. 

Here’s what we know about the mysterious figure being blamed for the data breach.

Who is being blamed for the Medibank cyber attack?

Aleksandr Gennadievich Ermakov is his full name. 

But he’s also known as Alexander Ermakov. 

He’s a 33-year-old Russian citizen who was born in Russia, according to sanction documents filed in the Federal Register of Legislation.  

Senator Wong described him as a “cyber criminal”. 

What are Ermakov’s other names?

The following usernames are listed for Mr Ermakov:

  • GustaveDore
  • aiiis_ermak
  • blade_runner
  • JimJones

What did Ermakov have to do with the Medibank cyber attack?

Senator Wong didn’t go into specifics. She just said he had a role in breaching the Medibank Private network.

In a statement published on the Australian Signals Directorate website, the government said he was sanctioned for:

“… his role in the unauthorised release and publication on the dark web of 9.7 million records containing the personal information of Australians, including names, dates of birth, Medicare numbers, and sensitive medical information.”

How do we know what Ermakov looks like?

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) website published photos of him this morning. 

Here are two of them:

000141788 (1)

Aleksandr Ermakov is a Russian citizen. (Supplied: DFAT)

Aleksandr Ermakov sitting in a chair in what appears to be a high-end bottle shop

Mr Ermakov is 33 years old, according to sanction documents. (Supplied: DFAT)

Has Ermakov been arrested?

Not that we know of. 

These sanctions are designed to make it more difficult for Mr Ermakov to do business by making it a criminal offence under Australian law to provide him with any assets — including cryptocurrency and or via ransom payments.

The same goes for using or dealing with his assets. 

It means people caught dealing with him face up to 10 years in prison. 

Where is Ermakov?

We don’t know. 

His whereabouts weren’t discussed during Senator Wong’s press conference this morning. 

But he’s been banned from entering Australia.

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