Australia’s New Cyber Unit To Sniff Out Terrorism Payments

Australia Sets Up New Cyber Unit

In order to combat rising threats to its national security, Australian government officials announced the launch of a cyberintelligence unit tasked with identifying financing, money laundering and online financial fraud related to terrorism.

Reuters reported on Tuesday (Aug. 9) that the move coincides with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s platform to strengthen the nation’s cybersecurity tactics and help transform the economy into a more tech-savvy business hub.

“We know that the use of fraudulent identities continues to be a key enabler of serious and organized crime and terrorism,” Justice Minister Michael Keenan said in a statement.

Keenan confirmed that the new unit will look to reduce money laundering and the presence of criminal networks by investigating online payments platforms and financial cybercrime.

Under money-tracking agency Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), the country’s new cyberintelligence task force will work with government agencies from both Australia and New Zealand to curb the recruitment scams that criminal syndicates often use to trick unwitting individuals into trafficking money between jurisdictions.

There are also expectations that the new unit will work with the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network to recognize and report the types of trends that may be indicative of big financial scams, Keenan added.

“The top priority for the Australian government is to protect our people, our economy and our way of life from the ever-changing range of national security challenges that we face as a society,” he continued.

“We know that the national security threat to our nation and globally is unprecedented, and modern technologies are presenting new and evolving threats — none more so than from malicious cyberactivity.”