A doubling of reports of ransomware against Australian businesses and individuals in a just a few months has prompted the government to revisit an anti-cybercrime information campaign.
Assistant Minister for Defence Andrew Hastie will launch the renewed effort on Tuesday, saying the government is tackling cyber criminals head-on to support Australian organisations and individuals from cyber compromise.
He will be launching the next stage of the Act Now Stay Secure cyber security campaign at the Australian Cyber Security Centre in Brindabella Park, with a focus on ransomware, in which cyber criminals gain control of systems disrupt the owner from using them or access their own data unless they pay a ransom.
"The Australian Signals Directorate has used, and will continue to use, its broad range of offensive cyber capabilities to disrupt and bring cybercriminal syndicates targeting Australia to their knees. Offensive cyber is just one of the tools in Australia's toolkit," Mr Hastie said.
"The ACSC provides vital advice and assistance to defend Australian businesses and individuals against ransomware, and brings together the Australian Signals Directorate's intelligence, offensive cyber and cyber security capabilities to defend Australia's interests from malicious cyber actors.
"The ACSC takes the information it learns from cyber attacks against Australian businesses, and uses it to warn and protect further Australian organisations from being targeted."
Mr Hastie said ransomware was one of the most damaging types of cyber attacks, which can have severe and long-lasting impacts to Australian organisations and their operations.
The government is encouraging companies and organisations to have protective measures in place to make it harder for cyber criminals to harm their business, under the principle that prevention is better than cure and with cyber security the best offence is often a strong defence.
"I encourage Australian organisations to report their ransomware incidents to the ACSC so we can protect and warn all organisations and build better overall cyber defences for 'Team Australia'," Mr Hastie said.
"Any cyber criminal operating on the dark web or hiding behind encryption should be on notice that the full range of Australia's intelligence and law enforcement capabilities are being aimed at you."
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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