ASD continuing to disrupt foreign cybercrime

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Friday, 04 December, 2020

ASD continuing to disrupt foreign cybercrime

The Australian Signals Directorate is continuing its offensive campaign against foreign criminals seeking to take advantage of COVID-19 to conduct malicious activities.

Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the ongoing operation has protected hundreds of Australians and thousands from overseas from organised and sophisticated cyber threats.

“These cybercriminals have been targeting Australians through COVID-19 themed SMS phishing campaigns that are designed to trick Australians into downloading advanced criminal malware onto their mobile phones,” she said.

“ASD is using its offensive cyber capabilities to attack the cybercriminals’ tools — disrupting their operations and interrupting their ability to exploit Australians. In doing so, ASD has successfully disrupted the business model of key foreign cybercrime syndicates targeting Australians and exposing potential victims to significant financial losses.”

The ASD acted based on intelligence reporting from the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission after identifying the business model used by the adversaries.

Meanwhile, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) has launched a new information campaign to provide easy-to-follow advice for Australian families, businesses and organisations on how to protect themselves from cyber threats.

The campaign will provide continuous and practical cybersecurity advice on common threats Australians face in cyberspace, starting with ransomware.

The cybersecurity campaign also aims to encourage more Australians to report cyber incidents using the ACSC’s ReportCyber tool, which provides a single online portal for individuals and businesses to report cyber incidents.

Reynolds said Australians are now reporting more than one cybercrime every 10 minutes, so it is more important than ever to inform them to stay alert to the threat of cybercrime.

“Cybercriminals are relentless, operating around the clock and around the world, in a bid to steal the data and money from Australian businesses and families,” Minister Reynolds said.

“I urge all Australians to go online and visit for tips on how to act now and stay secure. Even small steps can make a big difference.”

The strategy campaign is part of the $1.67 billion Cyber Security Strategy 2020, which includes $124.9 million to strengthen law enforcement’s counter cybercrime capabilities.

Image credit: © Jackson

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