Cyber crime in Australia

  • Category:
  • Document type:
  • Level:
  • Page:
  • Words:


Cybercrime related activities influences the lives of most Australians. According to Australian Crime Commission, 60% of the Australians have been victims of cybercrime their lifetime with 47% of them experiencing cybercrime related activities in the last 12 months. The cost of cybercrime rose in the last three years to $4.3 reflecting 33% increment as per the research by Ponemon Institute, which makes it significant for the Australian legal corporations to develop mechanisms of protecting themselves and people from the crime1. Cybercrime costs more than $1 billion annually. According to the Commonwealth of Australia, to combat cybercrime, there is need to involve stakeholders including the Attorney General Department (AGD) due to its critical infrastructure resilience, criminal law policy, telecommunication interpretation policy, privacy, and protective security. Currently, 2 billion-use internet and more than 5 people connected through the phones globally. Fighting cybercrime requires collaboration and sharing of information. The purpose of the literature review is to examine the extent by the Australian legal corporation in fighting cybercrime.

Cybercrime Concept

Several terms are used in defining cybercrime. The Cybercrime Act 2001 defines cybercrime as offences against computer information and system, which is a narrow statutory2. The Australian Government Initiative defines cybercrime as offences directed at computers and associated activities for example cybercrime and instances when such devices become integral to the offence for example online frauds and distribution of child exploitation materials3. Common crimes in Australia are hacking, online frauds, and attacks on computer systems affecting majorly the energy, utilities, and financial institution. The Council of Europe Cybercrime Treaty define the activity from international context as an umbrella term covering a wide array of criminal activities that infringe on computer data systems, copyright, and content offences. The treaty offers Australia the foundation of fighting cybercrime as it addresses such crimes through harmonizing national laws, improves investigative methods, and corporation level among nations.

The Australian legal corporations use various methods to protect individuals and susceptible organizations. Most Australian victims feel violation of their privacy but they are powerless in dealing with such crimes. As the country’s reliance on technology continues to grow, cybercrime costs and incidences are expected to increase4. The threat on the Australians are undeniable, unrelenting, and continues to rise with technology. The study conducted by UNSW reveals that Australia lags behind in replying to the increasing cyberspace predicaments. Since 2001, the E Security National Agenda governed Australian Government’s e-security matters. With such measures, cybercrime activities continued to rise leading to reviewing of the Agenda in 2004 and 20065. In 2008, another review was initiated owing to increased technological levels. Launching Cyber Security Strategy brought together several e-securities into an umbrella of one policy with several initiatives. The strategy emphasized on protection of the national security, government computer systems, and critical infrastructure. However, such initiatives failed since the established computer response team, CERT Australia, does not either receive complaints on cybercrime or provide technical assistance to the public6. Moreover, the strategy holds that educating the community against online crimes is the best method. According to Mr Paul Brooks, the Director of Internet Society of Australia, community education alone is insufficient in responding to the sophisticated cybercrime activities that affect the whole society. The Australian Broadcasting Authority also supports such opinion citing that there is need to attach much significance to the requirements of the consumers and businesses and more strategic methods to the interconnected nature of the cyberspace7.

According to the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network, the country initially had poor, ineffective, and inefficient reporting structure; a point supported by the Australia’s House of Representatives Committees. As a result, the country adopted FCCG and eBay’s strategy. Currently, the eBay project is the country’s national web based reporting enabling the public to report online frauds. The platform collects critical facts enabling the government to identify potential crimes and referring them to the relevant police agency. Cavanagh hold similar views through examining the role of the internet in the modern society; however, he believes that the government needs tracking programmes without depending on the information from the public.

From the reviewed literature, the existing gap in the Australian corporations to combat cybercrime is inadequate efforts to involve the other countries. Most cybercrime activities are interconnected globally which calls for the needs to integrate various countries as spearheaded by the Council of Europe Cybercrime Treaty. Instead, Australia encourages internal partnership, which is not effective with the increasing technological development8.


With the rising technology, internet continues to play important role to the Australians. However, such developments are proportional to increment in cybercrime-associated activities. Australian government made several steps towards curbing the increasing rates but from the reviewed literature, the government failed to involve other nations. McAfee, IT firm, is one of the companies supporting and working with other partners to establish an online reporting for the Australians. In the United States, the company launched Cybercrime Response Unit (CRU), which is an online platform for consumers and all forms of businesses. CRU provides education on the online behaviors that often contribute to higher cybercrime risk and provides links to the resources of reporting online crimes.

Works Cited

. Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network, 2016. Web. 28 Apr. 2016. < cybercrime/>.ACORN | Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network. «What is Cybercrime? | ACORN.»

. Australian Institute of Criminology, 2016. Web. 28 Apr. 2016. <>. — HomeAustralian Institute of CriminologyAustralian Institute of Criminology — Definitions and General Information.» Australian Institute of Criminology. «

, 2016. Web. 28 Apr. 2016. < sheets/cyber-and-technology-enabled-crime>.Commsion Crime Autralian. Australian Crime Commission. «Cyber and Technology Enabled Crime.» Commsion Crime Autralian

. Carnegie Cyber Academy, 2016. Web. 28 Apr. 2016. The Carnegie Cyber Academy — An Online Safety Site and Games for Kids Carnegie Cyber Academy. «Cyber Crimes and Criminals — How Cyber Criminals Operate.»

Packard Enterprise, 2015. Web. 28 Apr. 2016. < solutions/ponemon-cyber-security-report/>.Hawlett. Ponemon Cyber Crime Report Enterprise.» Hewlett Packard Packard Enterprise. «Ponemon Cyber Crime Report: IT, Computer & Internet Security Hawlett

. Home – Parliament of Australia, 2016. Web. 28 Apr. 2016. <>.Home – Parliament of Australia Home – Parliament of Australia. «House of Representatives Committees – Coms/cybercrime/report/chapter5.htm – Parliament of Australia.»

. ITnews, 25 Nov. 2011. Web. 28 Apr. 2016. <>.ITnewsPatteson, Carolyn. «Cyber Threats and Business-government Engagement — Security.»

Hawlett Packard Enterprise. «Ponemon Cyber Crime Report: IT, Computer & Internet Security Hewlett Packard Enterprise.» Ponemon Cyber Crime Report. 2015.

Autralian Crime Commsion. «Cyber and Technology Enabled Crime.» Australian Crime Commission. Autralian Crime Commsion, 2016.

Patteson, Carolyn. «Cyber Threats and Business-government Engagement — Security.» ITnews. ITnews, 2011.

Carnegie Cyber Academy. «Cyber Crimes and Criminals — How Cyber Criminals Operate, 2016.4

Home – Parliament of Australia. «House of Representatives Committees, Parliament of Australia, 2016.

Australian Institute of Criminology,Definitions and General Information, 2016. 6

. Patteson, Carolyn. «Cyber Threats and Business-government Engagement — Security.» IT news, 25 Nov. 20117

Australian Institute of Criminology,Definitions and General Information, 2016.