By Duncan Evans
Some 25 organizations from central Queensland gathered in Rockhampton on Wednesday for a conference on cybercrime and the complex threat it poses to life in the Queensland area.
The conference was hosted by Queensland Police in partnership with the Australian Cyber Security Center and comes just months after a cyberattack on meat-processing giant JBS in late May demonstrated how cybercriminals can quickly turn the lives of people in central Queensland upside down.
The attack, although allegedly orchestrated by Russia-based criminals, temporarily shut down JBS’s processing facilities across Australia, including the Nerimbera deli.
Hundreds of local workers were laid off for about a week as the company scrambled to overcome the Ransomware attack.
On Wednesday, JBS executives spoke to those in attendance about their experiences and the risk strategies they could put in place to move forward.
The meeting, which ran from around 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., was closed to media, although Acting Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Guteridge provided a general overview of the discussion.
“People who are not really sure how hacking activities work, this will be a forum for us to discuss these more high-tech things,” he told reporters.
“People’s appetite to engage in hacking far outweighs quite often and unfortunately the apathy some people feel towards cybersecurity. “
More generally, Mr Guteridge said Australian cyber cops are proactively learning from global partners to prevent and mitigate the threat of cyber hacking.
He also said Australia has the intellectual capacity to deal with this sophisticated and complex form of crime.
“We are incredibly blessed in Australia, we have some of the smartest computer minds and some of the smartest analysts in the world,” he said.
The conference took place at the Empire Hotel on East Street.