Crime & Justice

Australia ramps up cyber security after recent data breaches

Sydney, Australia, Nov 12 (EFE).- Australia on Saturday announced measures to ramp up cyber security after a series of recent cyber attacks targeting Australian companies.

Minister for Home Affairs and Cyber Security Clare O’Neil announced the start of a joint, standing operation by the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Signals Directorate, the government agency in charge of intercepting electronic communications from foreign countries, “to investigate, target and disrupt cyber criminal syndicates.”

“This operation will collect intelligence and identify ring-leaders, networks and infrastructure in order to disrupt and stop their operations – regardless of where they are,” the minister said at a joint press conference with Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus.

Both officials underlined the commitment of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s government to “hunt down” cybercriminals.

The operation “sends an important message to criminals and hackers intending to do harm – Australia will fight back,” the attorney-general said.

The announcement comes a day after the police pointed to a group of hackers from Russia as responsible for the theft of millions of medical data in mid-October against private insurer Medibank, the largest in the country.

The hackers, who have not been publicly identified by the officials, are demanding a payment of $10 million to prevent them from further disclosing sensitive medical data of some 9.7 million Medibank clients and ex-clients.

In addition to the insurer, at least eight other major companies, including telecoms company Optus – the second largest in the country – have reported cyber security breaches since September. EFE


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