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Been hit by ransomware? Letting the AFP know could save you a lot of money

“Don’t hack it alone” – early reporting of ransomware attacks stopped at least 57 incidents in the last 18 months.

user icon David Hollingworth
Thu, 07 Dec 2023
Been hit by ransomware? Letting the AFP know could save you a lot of money
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With ransomware attacks continuing to impact Australian organisations at a growing rate, the Australian Federal Police is asking businesses to report any such attacks as soon as possible.

The AFP is concerned that some businesses could be dealing with such incidents without outside help from law enforcement or other agencies, which – according to a mid-year IBM Security report – could lead to greater costs in money and time.

According to the Cost of a Data Breach Report 2023, the 37 per cent of businesses that do not report ransomware attacks spend more on mitigating the incident than those who did work with law enforcement. Bringing in law enforcement also led to a quicker resolution of the incident.

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AFP Commander Chris Goldsmid said the AFP is well-equipped to deal with ransomware incidents. The agency has already worked on 204 such incidents between July 2022 and June 2023, and early reporting allowed the AFP to disrupt 57 of them, saving those victims from losing $30 million.

“We know that ransomware attacks are unfortunately becoming more prevalent in our digital world,” Commander Goldsmid said in a statement. “The AFP is urging Australians and Australian businesses to come forward and report any ransomware breaches as soon as possible.”

“We don’t want you to go it alone. If we are alerted to an incident in its earliest moments, we have our best shot at gathering the evidence we need to identify those responsible for the attack, disrupt their activities and bring them to justice.”

Operation Guardian – a joint taskforce between state, territory, and Commonwealth agencies – has been a key part of fighting ransomware operations. The AFP has also worked with international partners to identify and disrupt the gangs themselves.

“The AFP has significant powers within its remit, including legislation that precludes the AFP from revealing when they are in use. Those powers should serve as a warning to hackers, and those who will attempt to piggyback off those criminals, that the AFP will relentlessly pursue them,” Commander Goldsmid said.

“If you believe you are a victim of cyber crime, report it to ReportCyber. If there is an imminent threat to your safety, call Triple Zero.”

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