It may no longer be an easy one for healthcare professionals to gain access to the Medical numbers online – this is coming shortly after The Guardian disclosed that its journalist was able to purchase the information from a darknet trader. Consequently, fears are that this act may render many Australians vulnerable to fraud.
The matter has been forwarded to the Australian Federal Police who agreed that investigations are on now. Meanwhile, the government is not sure about the brain behind the act, but the ABC gathered that the darknet trader might have gotten the number from a healthcare professional or doctor who has access to the medical numbers database online.
According to the Human Service Minister, Alan Tudge, the online system was put in place to help those without medical cards access to get immediate treatment. With your phone, its still accessible, but the issue is that the data base is vulnerable to attacks and abuse, as it is porous.
The dark web
In a statement by Mr Tudge, the dark web was accessed by administrators and doctors for about 45,000 times daily, from there, the government analyses how a patient’s details can be obtained. He pointed out that right from the implementation of the system about eight years ago, it has not been altered.
The president of AMA (Australian Medical Association), Michael Gannon said that the government is bent on beefing up the security of what is vital to both patients and doctors. He advocated the review and tightening up of the system, but not trashing the database.
During the review, a link will be created to establish the relationship between the online database and external medical software providers, as well the checks that will prevent illegal accessing of numbers. There are so many possible criminal activities that can spring up such as creating fake cards and using such for fraudulent activities.
However, the Coalition reported that the Guardian Journalist only accessed his Medicare number and never his health records. The police are conducting investigations on a small number of Medicare digits that seem to have been sold.
Labour detests the Government’s inability to disclose what has gone wrong and opening up on the potential vulnerability, rather they kept it a secret.