Australia to criminalize ransom payments to hackers

After the recent cyberattacks that affected millions of Australians, Australia’s Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil said the government would consider paying ransoms to cyber hackers as illegal.

O’Neil, Australia’s Minister for Home Affairs and Cybersecurity, confirmed to ABC that the government was considering criminalizing extortion payments as part of its cyber strategy.

The announcement came after Australian Federal Police (AFP) linked the group behind the Medibank hack to Russian cybercriminals with links to the REvil cyber gang, which was allegedly busted by the Russian Federal Security Service earlier this year.

Similar proposals to ban ransomware payments have been floated internationally in response to the growing threat of cyber extortion, but there are fears that they will fail.

If successful, however, criminalizing extortion payments could drive attacks underground by forcing companies to conceal incidents to avoid regulatory scrutiny.

The sources for this piece include an article in TheRecord.

IT World Canada Staff
IT World Canada Staff
The online resource for Canadian Information Technology professionals.

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