SENATOR KRISTINA KENEALLY
DEPUTY LABOR LEADER IN THE SENATE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY
LABOR SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES
TIM WATTS MP
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CYBER SECURITY
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS
MEMBER FOR GELLIBRAND
MORRISON GOVERNMENT FAILS TO TURN RANSOMWARE ANNOUNCEMENTS INTO ACTION
Revelations at Senate Estimates last night have confirmed that the Morrison Government’s ‘Ransomware Action Plan’ is still all announcement, no action.
Three months after Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews declared that “Time’s Up” for ransomware gangs, Senate Estimates has confirmed the government has committed no new funding, has initiated no new law enforcement action and will pass no new legislation in the Parliament before Christmas.
In last night’s Senate Estimates hearings, the Department of Home Affairs confirmed that the government’s ‘Ransomware Action Plan’ contained no new funding in the fight against ransomware gangs menacing Australian businesses.
It was also confirmed that the government’s AFP led ransomware taskforce, Operation Orcus, is facing administrative delays and is yet to take action despite being first announced to much fanfare in July.
Finally, the Department was only able to suggest that the policy work for its promised mandatory notification scheme for ransomware attacks would be finalised “this side of Christmas”.
With just a fortnight of Parliamentary sittings remaining this year and an election due by May, this looks like yet another announcement that won’t be delivered this term.
Labor called for a National Ransomware Strategy in February and outlined a series of policy interventions designed to reduce the number of ransomware attacks targeting Australian businesses.
In June, we introduced a private members bill to establish a mandatory notification scheme for ransom payments.
But the government has been dithering for nine months while the issue escalated into a crisis.
Today, ransomware is a billion dollar a year cost to the nation which threatens jobs and investments.
The Morrison Government should stop announcing and start acting to protect Australians from the scourge of ransomware.
TUESDAY, 26 OCTOBER 2021