Crypto Criminals Targeted by International AFP Crackdown, Aussie Police Officers go Global

By Sam Town August 10, 2020 In Crypto News

The Australian Federal Police is set to deploy officers around the world in a new international crackdown that will see the AFP target global intellectual property thieves, hackers, and cryptocurrency users.

The new plan will distribute AFP offices throughout Africa, the United States, and Europe in pursuit of criminals and scammers otherwise out of the reach of Australian law enforcement. Australian police officers will possess the authority to knock on doors, arrest criminals, and seize the assets of criminals from Eastern Europe, to Nigeria, and Brazil — including cryptocurrency assets.

The countries targeted by the AFP in what AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw described as an “offshore punch” are close to cybercrime hubs, from which phishing, malware, and romance fraud operations defraud Australians. 

New powers provided to Australian police officers in a $1.6 billion cyber security strategy that the Morrison Government plans to legislate by the end of the year will see the AFP receive support from the Australian Signals Directorate and other agencies, such as ASIO.


Global Police Force Targets Crypto 

Cryptocurrency is expected to be a primary target of the international AFP crackdown, with over $2.5 billion AUD lost to international online scams in the last decade — much of it siphoned away through major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. 

ACCC chairman Rod Sims has warned Australians against new COVID-19 focused scams aimed at defrauding Australian superannuation holders of their retirement savings. 

The increase in international scammers targeting Australians occurs alongside an increase in the distribution of malicious remote access tools that provide hackers with the ability to review documents and media on target devices or record keystrokes.

By recording keystrokes or data on target devices, hackers can potentially gain access to cryptocurrency exchange accounts or private keys. The AFP, however, is certain that the new international policing effort will minimize the impact of scams — crypto or otherwise — on the Australian public.

“The criminal syndicates hiding behind keyboards are targeting the nest eggs of hardworking Australians, they are holding our businesses to ransom, robbing our universities of their intellectual property, and planning terrorist attacks …  The AFP will respond to the cyber threat with renewed focus and enhanced capabilities to cause maximum damage to the criminal environment,”

Sam Town

Sam Town

Sam Town is a FinTech and Blockchain Journalist from Adelaide, Australia. I work with a broad spectrum of finance, technology, and blockchain businesses to deliver engaging, high-quality content across a range of topics. Areas of specialization include FinTech, blockchain, NeoBanks, crowdfunding, P2P lending, tax structuring & strategy, artificial intelligence, InsurTech, and finance IoT applications.

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