The federal government is preparing to launch its Joint Cybercrime Coordination Center (JPC3) to enhance the country’s virtual security efforts.
The center is expected to be operational from March 2022 and will work alongside the Australian Cyber Security Center (ACSC), the country’s operational manager for cybersecurity incidents.
It will be headed by Australian Federal Police (AFP) Deputy Commissioner Justine Gough, who will lead a “cyber command” and will be AFP’s first full-time executive to focus on the fight against cybercrime.
“This AFP-led cybercrime hub will be state-of-the-art and ensure Australia is the world leader in cybersecurity,” Home Secretary Karen Andrews said.
“Australians work hard for their money and AFP works tirelessly to prevent cybercriminals from scamming, stealing and defrauding them.
“JPC3 will step up our efforts to seize money and property from criminals, put offenders behind bars and protect Australia’s digital data.”
The center is sure to have its work cut out for it, with AFP Cybercrime Operations indicting eight offenders for 21 offenses in the past fiscal year, as well as 163 disruptive activity during that time.
“AFP has investigated a wide range of cybercrime methods with business email compromise, industry / government intrusion and malware at the top of the list,” Gough said.
“The investigations mainly covered the ACT, NSW, VIC and QLD jurisdictions. However, given the borderless nature of cybercrime, victims and offenders were found all around Australia.
“JPC3, along with the new Cyber Command, will work hand in hand with the Australian Signals Branch and the Home Office to help protect Australians from cybercriminals.
“This means that the AFP-led JPC3 will broadly target cybercriminals who deceive businesses by using business email compromise or trigger mass phishing attacks, which can defraud individuals by snatching personal information from them. or money, ”she added.
Gough spent 31 years at AFP, with recent operations under his observation responsible for the prevention and / or recovery of over $ 30 million in connection with cybercrime.
For example, operational disruptive activity in May 2021 prevented nearly $ 24 million in pension funds from falling into the hands of cybercriminals.
Meanwhile, Operation Dolos, a joint AFP and state and territory police task force focused on compromising commercial emails through financial cybercrime chains, prevented the loss of $ 8.5 million to cybercriminals.
In addition, AFP also identified the Zinger and Capertee operations, which had no financial results attributed to them but which nevertheless remain significant.
Operation Zinger focused on a criminal market related to the online sale of cybercrime software in conjunction with a foreign law enforcement agency. The operation found more than 500,000 compromised online credentials in more than 500 GB of data.
Operation Capertee, meanwhile, is an ongoing investigation into a syndicate that uses malware to compromise the financial information of bank holders, with 27,000 potential victims identified in 2020 alone.
The launch of JPC3 comes months after the CCAA revealed in September that it had recorded more than 1,500 cybercrime reports per month related to the coronavirus pandemic in the past fiscal year, or about four per day.
In total, ASCS received 18,000 of these reports in the past 12 months through June 30, 2021, with over 75% of pandemic-related cyber acts resulting in loss of money or financial information.
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Tags Australian Federal PoliceAFPCJoint Cybercrime Coordination CenterJPC3