AUSTRALIAN spooks have identified 10 cyber criminals – the majority from Russia and Eastern Europe – responsible for hundreds of online attacks on Australians.

The hackers specialise in targeting Australians and are getting rich by stealing personal information and cash.

Justice Minister Michael Keenan will on Monday reveal the cyber criminals have been identified and are under active investigation by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC).

Speaking at the International Conference on Cybercrime and Computer Forensics at the Gold Coast, Mr Keenan will say an extra $16 million in funding has helped identified the hackers.

“The ACIC’s funding boost is also helping us to build a stronger picture of the identities and methodologies of cybercriminals targeting Australia – mostly originating from Russia and elsewhere in Eastern Europe,’’ Mr Keenan will reveal.

“This includes a class of offshore cybercriminals who specialize in targeting Australians.

“Since receiving this funding, the ACIC has been able to discover the identities of more than 10 cybercriminals who have allegedly been involved in hundreds of cases of malicious activity across Australia.

“These cybercriminals exploit the systems of businesses and everyday Australians to gain access to their information and divert their funds. “They are actively referring these to law enforcement for investigation.” Mr Keenan will outline that Government systems are also under threat by others.

“Between January 1, 2015 and June 30, 2017, the Australian Signals Directorate, as part of the Australian Cyber Security Centre, responded to 1766 cyber security incidents on government systems, which were considered serious enough to warrant operational responses.”

Mr Keenan will also open the Australian Federal Police’s new $25 million Brisbane headquarters with AFP Acting Commissioner Michael Phelan.

The National Anti-Gang Squad in Queensland has made 475 arrests, laid 1617 charges and seized 38 firearms since it was set up in 2014. Queensland-based operations have also seized 207kg of methamphetamine, 156kg of cocaine, and 90kg of cannabis since 2014.

“There has never been a Government more committed to ensuring the AFP has the resources and the powers it needs to combat the complex and rapidly evolving law enforcement environment they are faced with than the Coalition Government,’’ Mr Keenan said.

“At a time of heightened threat, enhancing Australia’s law enforcement capability is vital to ensure our officers are adequately equipped to maintain high-level service on our streets and at our borders.

“This newly furbished site will be the new cornerstone for AFP Brisbane-based criminal investigations.

“The new facility, coupled with our bolstering of police resources, will ensure Australia’s law enforcement agencies are best-placed to protect Australian communities.”

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