Australia to spend nearly $1 billion on cyber security

Australia will spend 926.1 million (USD, equal to A$1.35 billion) over the next 10 years to strengthen its cyber security defences trying to fight back to a wave of attacks, as announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

The announcement followed the accusations of Canberra to a “sophisticated state-based actor” of targeting all levels of the government, political bodies, essential service providers and operators of critical infrastructure.

Australian government didn’t mentioned who it believed to be responsible for the attacks, but three sources reported to Reuters that China is belived to be behind the attacks.

Morrison said in a statement: “the federal government’s top priority is protecting our nation’s economy, national security and sovereignty. Malicious cyber activity undermines that”.

Part of the funds (A$470 million) will be used to hire an extra 500 security experts in the country’s cyber intelligence agency (Australian Signals Directorate).

Australia’s Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said that the funding is a portion of a A$15 billion investment in cyber warfare capabilities. A plan of improvement accelerated after an electronic attack on Australia’s parliament and three largest political parties in 2019.

Australia never publicly revealed who was behind the hack before an election, but Reuters reported that the country’s intelligence identified China as responsible for that attack.

China denied responsability in such instance.

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