The Australian Financial Compliance Enforcement Agency (AUSTRAC) has announced two new guidelines to make it simpler to identify when crypto is being used for dubious purposes or when a person is being obliged to pay crypto to ransomware perpetrators.
Each guide provides practical recommendations to assist organizations in determining whether a payment is tied to a ransomware attack or if someone is committing money laundering, frauds, or terrorism financing utilizing digital currencies and blockchain technology.
Cybercrime is a growing menace to Australia’s citizens. According to the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), around 500 ransomware assaults occurred between 2020 and 2021, a nearly 15% rise over the previous year.
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AUSTRAC Keeps Eye On The Bad Guys
AUSTRAC agreed that it could be detrimental to de-bank cryptocurrency consumers based on mere suspicions. It highlighted, however, that with the increased acceptance and adoption of cryptocurrency in communities, there has been a significant surge in cybercrime.
Some of the precise indicators that the financial intelligence and regulatory agency recommends is monitoring when determining whether someone is using digital currencies to finance terrorism.
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This occurs, for example, when transactions to crowdfunding or online fundraising efforts are associated with ideologically or religiously driven violent extremist forums, or when a client account receives several tiny payments that are instantly transferred to private wallets.
Digital currencies are gaining in value and acceptance, with Australians embracing this new technology at a breakneck pace.
Exploiting Crypto Assets
Criminals are increasingly exploiting digital currencies to perpetrate a variety of serious crimes as the global digital currency market continues to grow.
“Open communication, proactive direction, and strong ties between government and industry are required to guarantee enterprises can detect and report activity that puts Australians at risk of harm,” Blockchain Australia’s CEO said.
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IDCare reported just last week that more than 5,000 client records for the defunct bitcoin exchange Alpha were leaked online.
According to IDCare, these details included the photos of 232 Australians and 24 New Zealanders’ driver licenses, passports, proofs of age, and national identity cards.
IDCare discovered the breach in late January after seeing it advertised for sale for $150 on a Chinese-language forum, before it was subsequently made available for free on another online forum dubbed Breached.
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