Australia to accelerate cyber security efforts – Will spend nearly $1 billion

Australia is in intentions of spending A$1.35 billion ($926.1 million) to strengthen its cyber security, said the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Tuesday.

The funds so allocated would be spent on advancement of cyber security systems over the next 10 years as the country tries to find ways to counter a series of cyber attacks.

Few weeks ago, Australia said that an actor based in a sophisticated state remain attacking  Australian organizations at all levels, and the current announcement came following that statement. The organization being attacked by that actor include government bodies, political offices, providers of essential services and organizations involved in operations of infrastructures of critical nature.

Australia did not mention and refused to name the country it believed was at the back of those attacks. The country so believed by Australia responsible for those attacks was China, reported Reuters, citing three sources briefed on the matter. However China immediately rejects the guess.

Protection of economy, national security and sovereignty of the country is the utmost priority of the federal government. And that has been challenged by malicious cyber activity, Morrison said in a statement.

Australia will employ additional 500 security experts in its cyber intelligence agency, Australian Signals Directorate and have allocated A$470 million for the purpose which are also included in the recent package.

Australia has a A$15 billion investment program for enhancing cyber warfare capabilities and recent package is part of that program, said Linda Reynolds, Minister for Defence. Australia stepped up its cyber warfare efforts after its parliament and three largest political parties got a hit by a cyber attack in 2019.

Australia did not specify the one who was involved in the cyber attack at a time when the election in country was scheduled to be held in few months. But Reuters late last year reported that the intelligence agencies in Australia quietly determined China being involved in that electronic attack, but China came denying the same.