The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) announces the release of two new financial crime guides to help firms stop ransomware attack payments and crypto crimes.
As per data from the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), 500 ransomware attacks were reported in the 2020-21 financial year, which accounts to an increase of nearly 15% from the previous year.
AUSTRAC CEO Nicole Rose believes that businesses must know how to differentiate between criminal activity and customers using digital currencies for legal purposes, and also the significance of reporting suspicious activities to AUSTRAC.
Nicole Rose commented, “Financial service providers need to be alert to the signs of criminal use of digital currencies, including their use in ransomware attacks.”
The guides includes information and indicators to help businesses identify and report if a payment could be related to a ransomware attack, or when someone could be using digital currencies to commit crimes such as money laundering, scams, or terrorism financing.
Blockchain Australia’s CEO Steve Vallas said “The use of digital currencies for criminal purposes has no place in our sector. Open dialogue, pro-active guidance and strong relationships between government and industry are necessary to ensure businesses can identify and report behaviour that puts Australians at risk of harm.”
With resources, like this guide, firms can stay aware of the risks related to the sector that are an impediment to innovation and economic opportunities that this technology offers.
Thus, businesses must use these guides, and also their own monitoring systems, to help them find potential threats, illegalities and report suspicious activities to AUSTRAC.
As use of digital currencies gains speed, so does the number of illicit crimes. Recently, it was revealed that the US Secret Service seized more than $102M in crypto since 2015 as per the data compiled by the Secret Service.