Commitment to disrupt ransomware criminal networks

Department of Defence

Joint statement with:

  • The Hon Karen Andrews MP, Minister for Home Affairs

Australia stands united with G7 leaders – of the United Kingdom, United States, Japan, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and the European Union – in calling on all states to urgently identify and disrupt ransomware criminal networks operating within their borders.

Following Australia’s participation in the G7 Leaders’ Summit in Cornwall, G7 leaders issued a Communiqué, expressing a commitment to work together to address the escalating shared threat of ransomware.

The Australian Government remains determined to work together with its partners across the globe to identify and disrupt ransomware criminal networks and ensure our response is commensurate to this significant global threat.

“These reckless criminals are carrying out attacks simultaneously to exploit or steal from as many victims as possible. During a time where we are focused on growing Australia’s future as a modern and leading digital economy, safety, security and trust is of great importance,” Minister for Home Affairs said.

“Whether it is conducting ransomware attacks on critical infrastructure, stealing from small businesses or targeting the most vulnerable members of our community, the Australian Government is taking action to protect Australians, including working with our partners to combat this global threat.”

Recent ransomware attacks, including the brazen attack on Colonial Pipeline, illustrate the very real threat from cybercriminals, both internationally and domestically.

“Ransomware remains a persistent global threat, and cybercriminals continue to pose significant risks to the safety of Australians and Australian businesses,” Minister for Defence said.

“Cybercriminals and ransomware gangs are on notice. Australia’s law enforcement and intelligence agencies are working alongside our international partners to tackle the scourge of ransomware.”

The Australian Government is progressing many lines of effort to combat this threat, including:

  • investing $1.67 billion through the Cyber Security Strategy 2020 to build new cybersecurity and law enforcement capabilities, protect the essential services upon which we all depend, assist businesses to protect themselves and raise the community’s understanding of how to be secure online
  • strengthening Australia’s capability to counter cybercrime through a $164.9 million investment, including $89.9 million to equip the Australian Federal Police with an additional 100 personnel to identify and target cybercriminals
  • introducing legislation to bolster the powers of the Australian Federal Police and Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission to identify individuals and their networks engaging in serious criminal activity on the dark web
  • introducing legislation to uplift the security and resilience of Australia’s critical infrastructure, build our collective understanding of the threat environment, and ensure Government can assist industry in responding to cyber threats that are too sophisticated or disruptive to be handled alone
  • developing the next National Plan to Combat Cybercrime, which will bring together the powers, capabilities, experience and intelligence of all jurisdictions to build a strong operational response to cybercrime harming Australia and Australians
  • providing $6.1 million for support services through IDCARE to protect Australians online, if they have been a victim of cybercrime
  • expanding the Australian Cyber Security Centre to be the standing taskforce against cybercrime including ransomware in 2018
  • launching the 2021 International Cyber and Critical Technology Engagement Strategy with $20.5 million to strengthen resilience in Southeast Asia and $17 million to boost capability, including fighting cybercrime, in the Pacific, and
  • working collaboratively with international partners to address ransomware globally.

Every Australian can play a role and report cybercrime, including ransomware incidents, to the ACSC.

Cybercrime can be reported through ReportCyber which is managed by the ACSC on behalf of law enforcement agencies, providing a single online portal for individuals and businesses to report cyber incidents.

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