Australia ramps up cyber spending after state-backed attacks

SYDNEY (AFP) – Australia unveiled the “largest-ever” boost in cybersecurity spending Tuesday, days after Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke out a few wave of state-sponsored attacks suspected to possess been administered by China.

Morrison and officialdom said the country would spend a further Aus$1.35 billion ($928 million) on cybersecurity, around a ten percent hike, taking the allow subsequent decade to Aus$15 billion.

The largest chunk of the new money will help create 500 jobs within the Australian Signals Directorate, the government’s COMINT agency.

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Morrison revealed earlier this month that a “state-based actor” was targeting a number of state entities, public services and businesses.

As with state-backed cyberattacks on Australia’s parliament, political parties and universities last year, China was seen because the likely culprit.

Morrison said Tuesday that malicious cyber activity against Australia was increasing in frequency, scale and class .

Australian may be a a part of the FiveEyes intelligence network — along side Britain, Canada, New Zealand and therefore the us — but its cybersecurity funding pales compared to cyberpowers like the US, China or Russia.

But Morrison said the funding was designed to “help ensure we’ve the tools and capabilities we’d like to fight back and keep Australians safe”.

Beijing has clashed repeatedly with Canberra because it looks to extend the value of Australia speaking out against Communist Party interests, but has publicly denied orchestrating the cyberattacks.

Most recently, Australia enraged China by calling for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.

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But Canberra has also pushed back against what it describes as China’s economic “coercion”, covert influence campaigns and therefore the use of technology companies like Huawei as a tool of intelligence-gathering and geopolitical leverage.

China has warned its students and tourists against getting to Australia, slapped trade sanctions on Australian goods and sentenced an Australian citizen to death for drug traffic .

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