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New Guides on Ransomware and digital currencies

Friday 22 April 2022

This week the Australian Financial intelligence unit released financial crime guides for detecting ransomware and preventing criminal abuse of digital currencies.

 This is in response to the escalating cyber threat environment as well as the growing investment in the crypto space.

 In a formal statement for the Australian Transactions Reports and Analysis centre (AUSTRAC) the Australian Cyber Security Centre(ACSC) has been a 15 per cent increase in reported ransomware attacks for the financial period 2020-2021.

In a formal statement Austrac CEO Nicole Rose indicates that these potential threats to the Australia financial sector are not mutually exclusive.

“Financial service providers need to be alert to the signs of criminal use of digital currencies, including their use in ransomware attacks.”
She continues by focusing on the impact of criminal activity in in the digital currency space.

The use of digital currencies for criminal purposes has no place in our sector. Open dialogue, pro-active guidance and strong relationships between Government and industry are necessary to ensure businesses can identify and report behaviour that puts Australians at risk of harm.
Digital Currencies
Earlier this year,  Hunt & Hunt Principal & Partner Andrew Ham told the GRC Professional Podcast that crypto space would be a key focus.

The crypto space, whether focusing on crypto-scams, digital currencies, the use of the digital ledger technology (DLT) and even central banks looking at potentially developing centralised digital currency means that this space has been in out of focus for the last few years.

In 2017,conversation in Australia on digital currencies was largely focused on the establishing the ‘
regulatory certainty’ in digital currency and how the underlying blockchain technology could be leveraged to improve databases, systems and processes.

The following year  digital currencies were captured under the anti-money laundering and the counter terrorist financing act. The
Australian Digital Commerce Association (ADCA) wanted the sector to be regulated but were concerned that the regulatory framework might end up being too rigid.
Cyber Risk
 Gadens Partner Dudley Kneller told
GRC Professional Podcast that the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the  Australian Prudential and Regulation Authority and Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) will taking less of an education approach and more of an enforcement approach towards regulated entities. 

Kneller used the ASIC proceedings against
RI Advice as an example of regulators taking more an enforcement approach in the cyber the security space.
here to download your financial crime guides.

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