Australia to increase penalties for bitcoin extortionists

Australia to increase penalties for bitcoin extortionists

Hackers in Australia will face stiffer criminal penalties and fines for attacking cryptocurrency-extorting encryption programs. It writes about it The Australian

The initiative came after the operation of the Australian Federal Police to suppress a record increase in ransomware attacks in 2020. The estimated damage to the Australian economy was A$1.4 billion (~$1 billion).

Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said the goal of the new measures would be to deter and punish cyber criminals.

The laws will hit cybercriminals where it hurts the most - their bank accounts, she explained.

According to the publication, the measures will affect those who seek to attack critical infrastructure and use stolen data. In the contour of the legislation will fall purchase and sale of malware, as well as simplification of procedures for the arrest of funds received by extortionists.

Recall that in June, U.S. House of Representatives member Bill Foster said that encryption software could bury bitcoin's reputation when Congress considers its status.

Prior to that, U.S. President Joe Biden instructed to study the tracking of cryptocurrency transactions as an option to combat ransomware viruses.

Later, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts said that digital assets have made it easier to commit crimes. She cited ransomware attacks on Colonial Pipeline and JBS as examples.

The media subsequently reported that investigations into such incidents in the U.S. were given the same level of priority as terrorism cases.

In September, Senator Maggie Hassan sent a letter to a number of agencies expressing concern about the use of cryptocurrency as a ransom for ransomware.

In the same month, the media reported that Joe Biden's administration was preparing a series of measures aimed at combating cryptocurrency payments to the hackers behind the attacks of such viruses.

Jack Evans

About the author

I became a crypto asset owner in 2014, when the industry was in its infancy. Before that, I was working in the classic US and European stock markets. Since then, I have gained extensive experience in both cryptocurrency investing and day trading. I am happy to share with readers my experience with crypto exchanges, DeFi and NFT instruments. 

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