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The greatest cybercrime in Australia, which targeted Latitude Financial, included the theft of bank documents, driver’s license information, and passport numbers.
After a local business experienced a data breach and a ransom demand, Australia is contemplating outlawing the payment of digital ransoms, which are often sought in cryptocurrencies. Latitude Financial, a customer lender, reported a hack and accompanying ransom demand on March 16.
The incident resulted in the loss of almost 7.9 million driver’s license numbers from Australia and New Zealand, 6.1 million client records, 53,000 passport numbers, and 100 consumer financial statements notwithstanding the victims’ refusal to pay. According to Latitude, paying ransoms fosters other criminal acts, damages customers, and negatively affects the larger community.
Pay or Not to Pay Ransomware Demands
There is no assurance that information would be recovered after paying ransomware demands, according to the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC). Nonetheless, there is currently no legislation that forbids businesses from paying ransoms. Several Australian members of the tech industry are advocating for new legislation to make ransom payments illegal in the wake of the recent ransomware attack on Latitude.
They think that since criminals wouldn’t be lured in by the prospect of making outsized gains, this would serve as a deterrent. A rule that limits ransom payments is also supported by Andrew Truswell, the director of the technology law company Biztech Attorneys.
Following a review of Australia’s cybersecurity strategy, the country’s minister for digital security, Clare O’Neil, is considering making ransom payments unlawful. The assessment, which former Telstra CEO Andy Penn oversaw, recommended the change. Australians have the highest median wealth per adult in the world, making Australia an alluring target for hackers, according to the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC).
Relation Between Cyber Attacks and Cryptocurrency
Attackers who want to move payments anonymously and across borders have been accused of using cryptocurrency to facilitate ransomware operations. By making money anonymous, Tornado Cash, a mixing service, is one way that cryptocurrency helps ransomware.
Daleep Singh, a former deputy national security adviser for international economics in the Biden administration, said in a hearing of the US Senate Banking Committee on February 28 that “digital assets are essential to the business model of ransomware,” with almost all cyber attackers being paid off using cryptocurrency.