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CRIME

French tourist stabbed to death in remote Australia

A French tourist has died after being stabbed in the neck during an unprovoked attack when he and his wife pulled over on a highway in remote Australia, police said Thursday.

French tourist stabbed to death in remote Australia
Photo: Solar Team Eindhoven/ FLickr

The pair were about an hour north of Alice Springs on the Stuart Highway on Wednesday afternoon when the man, whose age was not given, was killed.

“It is believed that two French tourists, being husband and wife, were at a rest stop 30 kilometres (18 miles) south of the Aileron Roadhouse when they were approached by an unknown man,” said Detective Superintendent Travis Wurst.

“The man has allegedly then stabbed the male tourist to the neck, in an unprovoked attack. The male passed away at the scene.”

The attacker fled in a vehicle which was stopped soon after by police with the man running off into bushland. He was arrested on Thursday morning.

Police said the wife was being treated for shock at Alice Springs Hospital.

The Stuart Highway, a popular tourist drive, is the principal north-south route through Australia's remote central interior, spanning nearly 3,000 kilometres from Darwin via Alice Springs to Port Augusta.

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CRIME

Hackers post French hospital patient data online

Hackers who crippled a French hospital and stole a trove of data last month have released personal records of patients online, officials have confirmed.

Hackers post French hospital patient data online

The cyberattackers demanded a multimillion dollar ransom from the Corbeil-Essonnes hospital near Paris a month ago, but the institution refused to pay.

The hospital said the hackers had now dumped medical scans and lab analyses along with the social security numbers of patients.

“I condemn in the strongest possible terms the unspeakable disclosure of hacked data,” health minister François Braun tweeted on Sunday.

Hospitals around the world have been facing increasing attacks from ransomware groups, particularly since the pandemic stretched resources to breaking point.

The problem has been acute in France, where officials estimated early last year that healthcare institutions were facing on average an attack every week.

President Emmanuel Macron last year called the attacks during the pandemic a “crisis within a crisis” and announced an extra one billion euros for cybersecurity.

During last month’s attack, the Corbeil-Essonnes hospital shut down its emergency services and sent many patients to other institutions.

At one point, officials said the only technology still working was the telephone.

Rather than selling the trove of data, the hacker has dumped at least some of it for download on the “dark web” — a hidden part of the internet that requires special software to access.

Analysts said it seemed to be a tactic to put pressure on the hospital, even though public institutions are banned by French law from paying ransoms.

Cybersecurity researcher Damien Bancal, who revealed the leak and has seen the files, told AFP the worry is that other criminals will now launch scams with the data that has already been divulged.

In response to the leak on the weekend, the hospital severely restricted access to its systems and told patients to be extremely vigilant when receiving emails, text messages or phone calls.

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