Australia will ramp up its fight against hackers with a $1.35 billion package set to create 500 new positions to stamp out malicious cyber attacks.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison will on Tuesday announce the package, weeks after revealing a foreign government was behind an escalation in online threats.
Experts have widely blamed China for the attacks, targeting government, critical infrastructure and business.
The federal government’s package will direct $1.35 billion over 10 years to cyber security, with $470 million to be spent on 500 online spies at the Australian Signals Directorate.
More than $31 million will be spent on battling cyber crime offshore, giving Australia increased capacity to go after foreign criminals online.
A new cyber threat-sharing platform allowing industry and government to share intelligence will receive more than $35 million.
Defence Minister Linda Reynolds denied the package was a response to United States pressure.
“This is an Australian response to threats to our own nation,” she told the Seven Network on Tuesday.
She said the funding would boost technology and resources available to ASD and the Australian Cyber Security Centre
“Malicious cyber activity against Australia and Australians is increasing in both scale, complexity and impact,” Senator Reynolds said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the money would help ensure Australia had the tools to fight back against cyber threats.
“The federal government’s top priority is protecting our nation’s economy, national security and sovereignty. Malicious cyber activity undermines that,” he said in a statement.
ASD will be given $118 million to expand its data science and intelligence capabilities, including the identification of emerging cyber threats to Australia.
The remaining details of the package will be revealed in the government’s new cyber security strategy to be released this year.