Australia will spend A$1.35 billion ($926.1 million) over the next 10 years to boost its cyber security defences, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said. File picture: IANS
Australia will spend A$1.35 billion ($926.1 million) over the next 10 years to boost its cyber security defences, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said. File picture: IANS

Australia to spend nearly $1bn to boost cyber security

By Colin Packham and Renju Jose Time of article published Jun 30, 2020

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Australia will spend A$1.35 billion ($926.1 million) over the next 10 years to boost its cyber security defences, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Tuesday, as Canberra seeks to combat a wave of attacks.

The announcement comes just weeks after Australia said a "sophisticated state-based actor" has been attacking all levels of the government, political bodies, essential service providers and operators of critical infrastructure.

Although Australia has declined to say who it believed was responsible for the attacks, three sources briefed on the matter told Reuters the country believed China was responsible, a suggestion swiftly dismissed by Beijing.

"The federal government's top priority is protecting our nation's economy, national security and sovereignty. Malicious cyber activity undermines that," Morrison said in a statement.

“My Government’s record investment in our nation’s cyber security will help ensure we have the tools and capabilities we need to fight back and keep Australians safe,” the Prime Minister said.

The CESAR package has been designed to boost protection and cyber resilience for all Australians, from individuals and small businesses through to the providers of critical services.

The package will include A$470 million to hire an extra 500 security experts in the Australian Signals Directorate, the country's cyber intelligence agency.

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

Australia has never publicly disclosed who was responsible for the hack that came just months before an election, but Reuters reported late last year that the country's intelligence agencies quietly determined China was responsible for that cyber-attack.

China denies that it was responsible for the attack.

Reuters

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