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PM launches weapon against China

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The investment, which is the largest of its kind in Australian history, will allow the Australian Signals Directorate and the Australian Cyber Security Centre new capabilities to better disrupt cybercriminals and block emerging threats to Australia.

It will also fund 500 new jobs within the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD).

More than $35 million will be spent on a new cyber threat sharing platform, which will allow agencies to share information about malicious activity with the government in real time, and more than $31 million will be spent on increasing the capabilities of these agencies to fight cyber crime offshore and assist law enforcement across the country.

Another $118 million will go towards expanding the ASD’s intelligence capabilities, and $20 million will be spent on cutting-edge laboratories to study threats in emerging technologies.

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New funding will create 500 new jobs within the Australian Signals Directorate. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said malicious cyber activity against Australia was becoming more common – and more sophisticated.

“The Federal Government’s top priority is protecting our nation’s economy, national security and sovereignty. Malicious cyber activity undermines that,” he said.

“My Government’s record investment in our nation’s cyber security will help ensure we have the tools and capabilities we need to fight back and keep Australians safe.”

Earlier this month, the PM made a rare acknowledgment the country had been the victim of a “malicious” and “sophisticated” cyber attack from a “state-based actor”.

He declined to name the country believed to be responsible, but senior government sources have suggested China is to blame.

“Based on advice provided to me by our cyber experts, Australian organisations are currently being targeted by a sophisticated state-based cyber actor,” Mr Morrison told reporters at the time.

“This act is targeting Australian organisations across a range of sectors including all levels of government, industry, political organisations, education, health, essential service providers and operators of other critical infrastructure.”

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman, Zhao Lijian, responded shortly after the press conference, labelling any suggestion China was involved “baseless”.

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