Major Australian companies may in the future be required to report to the government when they pay ransoms to hackers in a ransomware attack.

The Australian Workers' Party presented a bill to this effect on Monday.

According to the party, a reporting obligation ensures that intelligence and investigation services have more information at their disposal.

In this way, it can be better investigated where exactly the money goes in order to be able to trace the perpetrators.

The bill only applies to companies with a turnover of more than 10 million Australian dollars (about 6.3 million euros).

If the proposal is approved, companies that do not follow the rules can expect a fine.

The proposal is prompted by recent major cyber attacks in the United States.

For example, oil pipeline company Colonial Pipeline paid 4.4 million US dollars (about 3.6 million euros) to regain access to its IT systems after a ransomware attack.

Meat processing company JBS also paid a ransom of 11 million US dollars (about 9 million euros) after a cyber attack.

Factories in Australia had to be temporarily shut down as a result.