The Australian Government has set up a specialist cyber-intelligence unit to crack down on terrorist financing, money laundering and online payment fraud.
The new cyber team, established under the auspices of financial intelligence agency Austrac, will investigate online payment platforms and financial cybercrime in a concerted attack on money-laundering and criminal networks, says Minister for Justice Malcolm Keenan.
"We know that the national security threat to our nation and globally is unprecedented and modern technologies are presenting new and evolving threats - none more so than from malicious cyber activity," he says. "We know that the use of fraudulent identities continues to be a key enabler of serious and organised crime and terrorism."
The initiative forms part of the Australian Government's Cyber Security Strategy, announced by re-elected Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in April.
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 group says it has identified 197 clients who have experienced a job scam, and 41 cases where innocent people were duped into laundering funds.
The team will also work with the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network to identify patterns and trends that could indicate large-scale financial scams or their methodology.
The latest Q2 cybercrime report from ThreatMetrix record a 50% increase in global fraud attacks since 2015, representing 112 million cyber attacks detected between April and June 2016.