Hacking The Hackers: Hunt Launched For Hacking Syndicates

(PatrioticPost.com)- Last weekend, the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Signals Directorate announced a joint task to strike back against cyberattacks.

The purpose of the 100-person task force will be to debilitate worldwide hackers and ransomware syndicates before they can attack by collecting intelligence and identifying ring-leaders, networks, and infrastructure.

In a joint statement released last Saturday by Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil, Defense Minister Richard Marles, and Attorney General Mark Dreyfus, O’Neil cited two recent data breaches at Optus and Medibank which showed the “extent of the damage that can be done by malicious actors.”

O’Neil said when breaches do take place, the cybercriminals “will be hunted down and their networks disrupted” by the task force, sending a clear message that “Australia will fight back.”

The new task force will be under the jurisdiction of the Department of Home Affairs Cyber and Critical Technology Coordination Center and will work with international partners via information sharing, collaboration, and enforcement activities to tackle the cybercriminal syndicates.

In an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Sunday, O’Neil said the new task force is “Australia standing up and punching back.” She said its first order of business will be to “hunt these people down and disrupt their operations.” She said the syndicates are weakened when governments like Australia collaborate with the FBI and other law enforcement and intelligence agencies from around the world.

O’Neil said it was equally important that Australia take a stand and refuse to be a “soft target” for hackers and cybercriminal syndicates.”

“If people come after our citizens,” O’Neil added, “we are going to go after them.”

While the effort is being described as “hacking the hackers,” the specific details of how the task force will operate remain somewhat murky, partly because it needs to keep the details of the operation from the cybercriminals it is targeting.