Act now to defend against vicious cybercriminals

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The Hon Andrew Hastie MP

Assistant Minister for Defence

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Ella Kenny 0437 702 111

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20 July 2021

Cybercriminals are targeting Australians at an unprecedented level to steal sensitive information and money, including through business email compromise and ransomware attacks.

Launching the next stage of the ‘Act Now Stay Secure’ cyber security campaign, Assistant Minister for Defence, the Hon Andrew Hastie MP, said the consequences of cybercrime can be catastrophic for businesses, families, and individuals.

“In the 12 months to 30 June this year, around 4,600 reports of business email compromise have been made to the Australian Cyber Security Centre. Of these, around a third reported financial losses totalling approximately $81 million,” Assistant Minister Hastie said.

“Email is a very common tool for the delivery of ransomware attacks, with phishing messages sent to potential victims containing malicious links or attachments.

“Compromised email accounts can also be used by cybercriminals to send fraudulent emails to the business’ customers, or steal sensitive information leading to the victim being blackmailed.”

Business email compromise occurs when criminals exploit trust by impersonating employees or companies through email to fraudulently obtain money or goods.

“A business or individual who has their email account compromised or targeted by scammers and cybercriminals could suffer catastrophic financial losses through scams or ransomware.”

“There are things everyone can and should be doing to protect themselves and their email accounts – use complex passwords and multifactor authentication, back up your data and keep a copy off-line, and don’t click on suspicious links.”

 “As part of the ‘Act Now Stay Secure’ campaign, the Australian Cyber Security Centre has released new email security guides to help prevent email compromise, and advice to help victims recover from an email attack,” Assistant Minister Hastie said.

“There are also easy step-by-step guides on securing your email accounts, to help people protect themselves.”

The Email Prevention and Protection and Emergency Response guides, Step-by-Step guides, and other advice and information are available at

If you have been a victim of cybercrime, please report it through ReportCyber.

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