The largest cyber attack in Australia’s history was on consumer lender Latitude Financial, resulting in the theft of driver’s license numbers, passport information, and financial documents. The company received a ransom demand but is refusing to pay, as advised by cybercrime experts who believe that paying a ransom will only encourage further criminal attacks. The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) recommends against paying ransoms, but there is no law prohibiting firms from doing so. In light of this attack, many in the Australian tech industry are calling for new rules to outlaw paying ransoms, with some suggesting that it should be made illegal.
Cyber Security Minister Clare O’Neil is considering the possibility of outlawing ransom payments. Cryptocurrency is often used to facilitate ransomware attacks as it allows for anonymity when transferring funds across borders.