Australia Initiates Global Ransomware Task Force OperationsAim Is International Cooperation in Fight Against Digital Extortion
A global ransomware task force led by Australia and comprised of 37 like-minded governments commenced operations Monday with the aim of sharing intelligence to stymie future digital extortion attacks.
The task force is an outgrowth of the U.S.-led Counter Ransomware Initiative, which last met in November at the White House (see: White House Ransomware Confab Ends With Data-Sharing Pledge).
The task force aims to foster collaboration in global law enforcement agencies and cybersecurity authorities. In addition to swapping intelligence, it will share best practices policy and legal authority frameworks.
The global initiative is hosted by the Australian Department of Home Affairs and its recently formed Cyber and Critical Technology Coordination Center. Australia in the latter half of 2022 underwent an apparent rolling wave of cyberattacks that included a ransomware-fueled data breach at telecom provider Optus and the country's largest private health insurer (see: Australian Law Firms Cooperate in Medibank Litigation).
"Recent cyber incidents in Australia and around the globe are a stark reminder of the insidious nature of ransomware, and the ability of cybercriminals to cause widespread disruption and harm to broad sections of the community," said Australian Minister of Home Affairs Claire O'Neil.
The spate of attacks led O'Neil to vow her country will become "the world's most cyber-secure country by 2030." In a recent interview with Bloomberg, she said she has received an official review of the attacks on Medibank and Optus and will release the findings "relatively soon."