Australia introduces Ransomware Payments Bill 2021

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Australia’s labor party has introduced a bill titled Ransomware Payments Bill 2021 that makes it mandatory for victimized companies to notify the Australian Cyber Security Center (ACSC) before making a ransom payment to a hacker’s gang.

Tim Watts, the Assistant Minister for Cybersecurity introduced the bill in the federal parliament and stated that the new law will help in bringing transparency in those making ransomware payments.

Last year, ACSC has issued a piece of advice to companies not to pay a ransom, as there was no guarantee that the hackers will fix the device for sure after receiving the payment and also would make the victimized companies super-vulnerable to future attacks.

Practically speaking, no company is willing to answer the question of whether a ransom payment was made or not. And to tackle such scenarios the federal government of Australia is planning to introduce ‘The Ransomware Payments Bill 2021; that would help in implementing a notification scheme that will mandate corporations, federal agencies, and state and union territories to share information about any malware related digital invasion on their Computer Networks.

Cybersecurity Insiders has learned that the scheme will make it necessary for companies to share info such as who attacked their network (hacking group’s name), their demands, and their cryptocurrency wallet details with regards to a ransomware attack.

And as soon as such data is shared, law enforcement will collect all the intelligence and will start tracking the money transaction that took place from wallet to wallet. Hence making it easy for law enforcement to nab the criminals- like how the FBI managed to track down the DarkSide Ransomware group that attacked Colonial Pipeline of America and managed to recover more than half of the ransom amount.

A National Ransomware Strategy was being encouraged by labor from February this year. However, developments did not take place on this note, as the government’s focus was entirely targeted at curbing the increase in Corona Virus pandemic-related cases.

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Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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