01 September 2016
Reporter: Becky Butcher

AUSTRAC expands efforts to protect against cyber

AUSTRAC, Australia's primary financial intelligence agency, has established a new cyber team to identify and combat cyber crime, including online terrorism financing, money laundering and financial fraud.

The new team will use financial and cyber intelligence to investigate online payment platforms and financial cyber crime to protect against money-laundering and criminal networks.

Michael Keenan, minister for justice of Australia, said: “We know that the use of fraudulent identities continues to be a key enabler of serious and organised crime and terrorism.”

Kennan revealed that the agency will also work with iDcare, Australia and New Zealand's national identity support service, “to target job recruitment scams that organised criminal syndicates use to recruit innocent people as money mules”.

The team will also work with the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network and Joint Management Group to identify patterns and trends that could lead to large-scale financial scams, according to Kennan.

The AUSTRAC cyber initiative forms part of the Australian government's Cyber Security Strategy, announced by the prime minister in April.

Kennan added: “Our agencies are leaders in their interconnectivity and intelligence sharing, and this cyber team will further boost these efforts. Strong cyber security underpins Australia's economy and is a major priority for the Australian government.”

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