Ransomware a cybercrime that should be reported

WA Police say as yet no ransomware offences have been reported in Australia but Commonwealth agencies are monitoring the situation.

A LARGE scale cybercrime event is being reported in which offenders extort money from victims, using malicious software to encrypt their data which will only be released on payment of a ransom.


WA Police said the malicious software, commonly called ransomware, was being distributed by a range of methods including email attachments and operating system vulnerabilities.

On Sunday, May 14 Reuters was reporting that the ransomware attack had hit 200,000 in at least 150 countries.

A Reuters story said the head of the European Union police agency said on Sunday the cyber assault could hit more victims when people return to work on Monday, May 15.

A police spokesman said as yet no offences have been reported in Australia but Commonwealth agencies were monitoring the situation.

“This particular virus is using a vulnerability in the Microsoft Windows operating system to spread rapidly ­- Microsoft closed this vulnerability in March 2017,’’ he said.

He said users were advised to continue to apply the common computer safety measures such as keeping computer software up to date, keeping anti-virus software up to date and keeping back-ups of important data.

Victims of cybercrime should submit a report at the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network at www.acorn.gov.au