Ransomware: Crime script analysis

Dr Susan Goldsmid1, Merryn King1, Georgina Fuller1

1Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, Barton, Australia

Ransomware is a form of malware that renders the victim’s computer unusable or inaccessible. A ransom is then demanded from the victim, which the ransomers state will result in the provision of the decryption key. Instructions for ransom payments are often left in files created by the malware and saved in various locations on the victim’s computer, or provided via an email address that the victim is instructed to contact. Ransomware generates hundreds of millions of dollars in losses annually for individuals, and organisations, many of whom never regain access to their computer files. WannaCry, NotPetya and Petya are some of the most well known forms of ransomware. This presentation will outline ransomware crime script analysis findings, and include a discussion of the pseudo-franchise model, dubbed ransomware-as-a-service. A discussion of trends in ransomware attacks domestically will be supported by trend analysis based on victim experiences as reported to the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network.


Dr Susan Goldsmid is the resident Criminologist and Manager Strategic Intelligence, Research & Engagement within Cybercrime Intelligence at the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission. Prior to this role, Susan was a Principal Research Analyst with the Australian Institute of Criminology, where she led a research program exploring the future workforce and technical capability requirements of Australian law enforcement.

She has extensive experience of working on law enforcement related issues, having previously had an established career as a sworn member within the Australian Federal Police, holding various roles in operational, intelligence and training areas.




The society is devoted to promoting criminological study, research and practice in the region and bringing together persons engaged in all aspects of the field. The membership of the society reflects the diversity of persons involved in the field, including practitioners, academics, policy makers and students.

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