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Australia to spend $1bn in cybersecurity push

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/lolloj)

The Australian government has announced it will spend almost a billion dollars in the next ten years on cybersecurity defences, according to a new Reuters report

Scott Morrison, Australian Prime Minister, is reportedly looking to address the threat posed by what appears to be “waves of attacks” suffered by his country.

“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.

The government will kick off the new initiative by hiring an additional 500 security experts for the Australian Signals Directorate, the country’s cyber-intelligence agency.

A few weeks ago, Australia announced it was on the receiving end of a “sophisticated state-sponsored” attack, which targeted a range of sectors, including all levels of government, industry, political organisations, education, health, central service providers, and operators of other critical infrastructure.

Morrison did not go into detail about the suspects at the time, but did confirm a state-sponsored actor was likely responsible, given the “scale and nature of the targeting and the tradecraft used”.

"What I simply can confirm is there are not a large number of state-based actors that can engage in this type of activity and it is clear based on the advice that we have received that this has been done by a state-based actor with very significant capabilities," he said.

As usual, China is considered a prime suspect, but the Prime Minister declined to point fingers.