The Albanian government has launched a new joint task force to ‘hack hackers’ and disrupt cyberattacks before they engage.
Australia will establish a permanent task force of around 100 police and defense personnel dedicated to cracking hackers, with a priority on targeting ransomware groups.
The new task force between the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Signals Directorate would be a revolutionary approach to law enforcement, says AFP commissioner Statement by Reece Kershaw this Russia is the source of the Medibank data breach.
On Saturday morning, Attorney General Mark Dreyfus and Cybersecurity Minister Clare O’Neil said the operation will gather intelligence and identify ringleaders, networks and infrastructure to disrupt and shut down hacker operations.
O’Neil says Medibank customer information has been stolen by Russian thugs, and while some in the community may think there’s not much that can be done to combat cybercrime, “that’s not true”.
“Governments around the world are stepping up and arming themselves in this fight, and the Australian government is joining them.”
“The operation aims to ‘stop incidents before they start’; furthermore, “where incidents occur…cybercriminals will be tracked down and their networks disrupted.” said O’Neil
The task force will be funded from existing funds to investigate cybercriminals and disrupt their activities before they launch an attack and remain a permanent operation.
At a press conference from Melbourne, O’Neil said the permanent operation represented “a new model of policing”.
According to O’Neil, the permanent joint operation will not only respond to crimes that affect Australians, it will also hunt gangs around the world and disrupt the activities of cybercriminals.
Dreyfus says the government is carefully reviewing Russia’s diplomatic profile in Australia and all options remain under review.
While his preference was to maintain the status quo, Dreyfus did not announce that he would rule out the expulsion of Russian diplomats from Australia.
“The task force would work with international partners, including the FBI and Interpol, and called on other nations to do the same.” said Dreyfus
He said no country should sit idly by and not help another country that asks for help – any country that harbors such criminals is actually helping.
The government, Dreyfus said, will continue to ask for help in the fight against cybercrime, in response to a question about Russian help.
On Friday, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said he was allowing the publication of AFP’s findings on the origin of the Medibank hack because the “disgusting” attacks are to be condemned.
“The nation from which these attacks originated should also be held accountable for the disgusting attacks and the release of information, including very private and personal information.”
“We know where they are coming from, we know who is responsible and we say they should be held accountable,” the prime minister said.