A new Australian-led anti-ransomware task force is now operational
Today marks the first day of operation of the new International Counter Ransomware Task Force led by Australia and operating under the auspices of the US-led Counter Ransomware Initiative.
The aim of the new task force is to take existing research and policy discussions and translate them into three areas of action:
- Create cross-sectoral tools.
- Establish best practices for combating ransomware.
- Facilitate intelligence exchange of cyber threats.
The task force will also help coordinate action between member nations, law enforcement agencies, and industry.
Clare O’Neil, Minister for Home Affairs and Cyber Security, announced that Australia would take up leadership of the ICRTF in November of last year, when Home Affairs announced some of the initial details of the organisation.
“Ransomware represents a significant global threat, and Australia will continue to play a leading role working with international partners, industry and the community to develop effective responses to combat cyber criminals and protect our people and institutions,” Minister O’Neil said in a recent announcement.
“Recent cyber incidents in Australia and around the globe are a stark reminder of the insidious nature of ransomware, and the ability of cyber criminals to cause widespread disruption and harm to broad sections of the community.”
As the chair of the task force, Australia is now taking membership nominations from among the 37 countries that are a part of the Counter Ransomware Initiative.
The members of the CRI are Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Lithuania, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, the Republic of Korea, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Ukraine, and the EU.
As well as standing up the ICRTF, the CRI has more plans for 2023, including creating a Lithuanian-led Regional Cyber Defence Centre, creating an “investigator’s toolkit” that consolidates lessons learned and other counter-ransomware tactics, and boosting engagement with the private sector.
The Counter Ransomware Initiative was created in 2021.
David Hollingworth has been writing about technology for over 20 years, and has worked for a range of print and online titles in his career. He is enjoying getting to grips with cyber security, especially when it lets him talk about Lego.