Author: Nyman Gibson Miralis
Subject: Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN)
Keywords: Cybercrime, ACORN, hacking, malware, denial of service attacks, cyber-bullying, Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (Cth)
ACORN was an initiative created by Australian, state and territory governments. The service addresses cybercrime by allowing individual Australians to report any cyber security incident.
Common types of cybercrime reports relate to hacking, scams, fraud, identity theft, attacks on computer systems and illegal or prohibited online content.
On top of this, it provides information on how to recognise risks, remain secure and avoid common types of cybercrime.
How does ACORN define Cybercrime?
Cybercrimes are crimes that are directed at computers or other devices and where that computer or device is integral to an offence. ACORN recognises that the effect of cybercrime on victims is not always financial, but can also affect privacy. Below are some of the issues that ACORN looks into.
What is an Attack on Computer Systems?
An attack on a computer system can occur in many ways, the most common of which include:
Unauthorised access or hacking: when a person gains access to your computer without permission. Usually they will change passwords to prevent you from accessing email, banking or social media accounts.
Malware: This is software used to monitor your activity and can be downloaded in emails or through suspicious links. The software can take the form or a virus, worm, spyware, trojan or bot.
Denial of service attacks: These type of attacks do not generally involve access to computer systems but rather aim to flood a computer or website with data so that it overloads and fails to function properly.
Threat and Extortion: These are scams which are harmful software placed on a computer which results in loss of data or prevents you from accessing files and programs unless payment is made.
What is Cyber-bullying and Stalking?
Cyber-bullying occurs when a person is offensive, menacing or harasses another through the technology. Not all bullying is criminal and Australian laws apply to serious online harassment and bullying behaviour.
Stalking offences occur when a person is persistent in their course of conduct against the victim with the intention of making them feel fearful, uncomfortable, offended or harassed through an online medium.
What is Prohibited Offensive and Illegal Content?
Internet content is regulated under the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (Cth). The office of Children’s eSafety Commissioner has the power to take down prohibited offensive and illegal content hosted in Australia. This is content that would be classified X18+ or RC (refused classification).
Prohibited offensive online content will usually be depictions of sexual activity between adults, videos showing high-impact violence, footage detailing offensive sexual practices and material providing detailed instruction in crime.
Illegal content is unlawful to possess, produce or distribute and includes child sexual abuse material or child exploitation material and material advocating a terrorist-related act. It is also an offence to procure, groom or engage in sexual activity with a person under 16 years of age or to send indecent communication to a person under 16 years of age.
What to do about Identity Theft?
This type of theft occurs when someone accesses your personal information to steal money or gain a benefit. The things to look out for include, ‘phishing’ which is a scam that asks for person information either over the phone or internet and generally pretend to be a genuine business or government body. If you think you are a victim of identity theft, inform the police and report the incident to your bank or financial institution.
What are the concerns with Online Trading?
Some scammers target people who buy, sell or trade online. Some examples include:
-advertisement of products for sale which are never sent when purchased.
-overpaying a seller and then requesting the amount to be repaid back into their account in an attempt to money launder.
-issue bills to individuals and businesses for a particular service.
Addressing Online Scams or Fraud
There are many scams which revolve around prizes. They usually inform you about having won an item or monetary amount and required to send personal information to claim the prize. Dating and romance scams play on emotional triggers before requesting money, gifts or details.
Reporting to ACORN
In order to make a report, you will need to visit the ACORN website and follow the ‘report’ tabs. You will need to provide as much detail as possible and keep any relevant information about the incident in case police contact you such as emails and screenshots.
How can Nyman Gibson Miralis assist if you are being investigated for Cyber crime / computer crime offences?
The investigation and prosecution of cyber crime is becoming increasingly international with multiple agencies around the world often involved in the process. Individuals and businesses may therefore become the subject of parallel criminal investigations and prosecutions raising complex jurisdictional and procedural issues. By its very nature cyber crime is borderless and therefore the exposure to penalties outside the jurisdiction where an individual or business is physically located is often a real possibility.
Nyman Gibson Miralis has expertise in dealing with complex national and international cyber crime investigations and advising individuals and businesses of defence strategies that take into account the complex and global nature of cyber crime investigation and criminal litigation. Nyman Gibson Miralis remains steadfast in ensuring the upholding of international law principles which focus on the protection of human rights within a transnational landscape.
Our expertise includes dealing with law enforcement requests for information from foreign jurisdictions, challenging potential extradition proceedings as well as advising and appearing in cases where assets have been restrained and confiscated worldwide.
The importance of obtaining expert advice in this complex area is highlighted by the multiple criminal and civil exposures individuals and companies may face globally.
What we can help with:
- Malware & phishing offences
- Computer hacking
- Computer offences
- Internet Fraud, Online Fraud, Email Fraud
- Bootlegging and tripping
- Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency fraud and seizure
- Spreading viruses, identify theft
- DDOS attacks, Botnet