Australia an attractive target for criminal syndicates

With more and more high profile cyber security incidents being made public, awareness of the importance of cyber security continues to steadily increase.

Clive Lines Coordinator, Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) calls for a better understanding of the situation for a more informed and considered perspective.

He says in a recently released report “Calling every incident a ‘hack’ or ‘attack’ is not helpful for a proportionate understanding of the range of threats and only promotes sensationalism. And treating every adversary as though they are all equally sophisticated and motivated detracts from a balanced perspective of risk and vulnerability.”

According to the second Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) Threat Report; cybercrime remains a pervasive threat to Australia’s national interests and prosperity.

Australia’s relative wealth and high use of technology such as social media, online banking and government services make it an attractive target for serious and organised criminal syndicates. Lucrative financial gains by serious and organised crime syndicates ensure the persistence of the cybercrime threat.

The ACSC report goes on to state that ransomware, credential-harvesting malware and DDoS extortion continue as the predominant cybercrime threats in 2016.

The extent of cybercrime is a significant concern as Australian industry is persistently targeted by a broad range of malicious cyber activity, risking the profitability, competitiveness and reputation of Australian businesses.

The spectrum of malicious cyber activity ranges from online vandalism and cybercrime through to the theft of commercially sensitive intellectual property and negotiation strategies.

The report also specifies that although government and high value targets are at risk small and medium businesses also need to be vigilant as there has been an increase in the detection of cyber adversaries attempting to gain access to enabling targets – targets of seemingly limited value but which share a trust relationship with a higher value target organisation.

It is imperative that organisations understand that they might be targeted solely based on their connections with other organisations, states the extensive report.

The full report can be downloaded here.