In the wake of a devastating cyber attack on Australia’s private and public sectors two weeks ago, the country has dedicated A$1.3bn to hiring more than 500 cyber spies.
The Australian Signals Directorate will use the funds to intercept foreign cyber criminals and more easily identify malicious hacks, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. It represents the country’s biggest ever cash injection into cyber defence.
Australian security agencies have reportedly pinned the blame for the most recent attack on China. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has not yet named the suspect, but has said that the scale and sophistication of the attack indicated a limited number of nation states with the requisite capabilities.
China has called these allegations “baseless”.
In an announcement about the new investment, Morrison warned that malicious cyber activity directed at Australia was increasing in “frequency, scale and sophistication” and represented a growing risk to the nation’s “economy, security and sovereignty”.
The new investment will form part of the country’s four year cyber security strategy which is due to be announced in the coming months.