Hackers in Australia will face tougher criminal penalties for ransomware attacks. The Australian wrote about this. The initiative came after an operation by the Australian Federal Police to stop a record increase in the number of ransomware attacks in 2020. According to estimates, the damage to the Australian economy amounted to 1.4 billion Australian dollars (about $1 billion).
Thus, The Ransomware Action Plan will allow authorities to arrest or freeze financial transactions in cryptocurrencies; related to cybercrime, regardless of where they originated from.
Minister for Home Affairs of Australia Karen Andrews said that the new measures aimed at deterring and punishing cyber criminals. “The laws will hit cybercriminals where it hurts the most. Their bank accounts,” she explained.
According to the publication, the measures will affect those who seek to attack critical infrastructure and use stolen data. The purchase and sale of malware, as well as simplification of procedures for the arrest of funds; received by extortionists, will fall into the contour of legislative norms.
Recall that previously in June, a member of the United States House of Representatives, Bill Foster, said that encryption programs are able to bury the reputation of Bitcoin when considering its status in Congress.
Prior to that, US President Joe Biden and President of Russian Federation Vladimir Putin discussed cybersecurity issues. The meeting between US President Joseph Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin took place on June 16 in Geneva. Joe Biden noted that the issue of cyberattacks concerns mutual interests with Russia.
The use of cryptocurrencies as ransomware
US Senator from Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren called on US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to develop rules to regulate the crypto market as soon as possible. In the letter, the increase in ransomware attacks by hackers using cryptocurrencies is one of the issues that Warren pointed out.
In July, a multi-agency task force known as Operation Orcus was formed to combat ransomware attacks. The majority of the attacks occurred in Russia, with malware like REvil or DarkSide encrypting or stealing data before demanding a ransom in cryptocurrency.
Later in September, Senator Maggie Hassan sent a letter to a number of institutions; in which she expressed concern about the use of cryptocurrencies as ransomware to extortionate programs.