Australia will spend A$1.35 billion ($926.1 million) over the next 10 years to boost its cyber security defenses, PM Scott Morrison said on Tuesday. The statement came weeks after Australia said that a “sophisticated state-based actor” has been attacking all levels of the government, political bodies, essential service providers and operators of critical infrastructure.
The government’s top priority is “protecting our nation’s economy, national security and sovereignty,” Morrison said in a statement. “Malicious cyber activity undermines that.”
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.
Australia has never publicly disclosed who was responsible for the hack that came just months before an election. The country’s intelligence agencies “quietly determined China was responsible for that cyber-attack,” Reuters reported late last year. Beijing denies that it was responsible for the attack.