After being targeted by a large scale state-based cyberattack, Australia has announced that it will spend $926.1m over the next 10 years to boost its cybersecurity defenses.
The country's prime minister Scott Morrison said earlier this month that the threats against Australia are not only sophisticated but are directed towards “all levels of government, industry, political organisations, education, health, essential service providers and operators of other critical infrastructure”.
As of yet, Australia has not revealed who it believed was responsible for the recent attacks. However, three sources briefed on the matter informed Reuters that China is believed to be the country responsible though Beijing has rejected these claims. In a statement, Morrison explained why Australia is investing heavily into its cybersecurity defenses, saying:
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“The federal government’s top priority is protecting our nation’s economy, national security and sovereignty. Malicious cyber activity undermines that.”
Of the funds that Australia will invest to improve its cybersecurity posture, $324m will be used to hire an additional 500 security experts to bolster the country's cyber intelligence agency, the Australian Directorate.
According to the country's Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds, the funding is part of a $10bn investment in cyber warfare capabilities and part of plan that was expedited following a cyberattack on Australia's parliament and three of the country's largest political parties last year.
While Australia did not publicly disclose who was responsible for the hack that occurred just months before its election, the country's intelligence agencies were able to determine that China was responsible for the cyberattack. Once again, Beijing denied that it was responsible for the attack.
Cyberattacks and other online threats continue to disrupt businesses as well as governments and it makes a great deal of sense that Australia wants to double down on its cyber defenses before it faces yet another attack.
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