(Reuters) – Australia will spend $ 1.66 billion ($ 1.19 billion) over the next ten years to intensify cyberattacks for businesses and households following an increase in cyberattacks, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday.
Cyberattacks on businesses and households cost about $ 29 billion or 1.5% of Australia's gross domestic product, Morrison told Canberra reporters.
Just weeks ago, Canberra said it would spend $ 1.35 billion over the next decade to strengthen the capabilities of its head of cyber intelligence.
Mr. Morrison said in June that a "sophisticated state-based actor" had spent months trying to hack all levels of government, political bodies, key service providers and critical infrastructure operators.
Much of Australia's cyber policy so far has focused on strengthening the armed forces of the authorities following an attack on Parliament in 201
The increased expenditure is intended to strengthen critical infrastructure, increase the police's efforts to disrupt criminal activity on the dark web and strengthen public awareness.
“We will protect our vital infrastructure and services from cyberattacks. We will support companies to protect themselves so that they can succeed in the digital economy, Morrison said.
Australia will also take a more aggressive approach to disrupting successors.
The Australian Signal Directorate – which, revealed to Reuters last year, ruled that China was responsible for hacking Australia's parliament – will receive new funding to counter foreign cyber attacks.
China denies responsibility for the attack, which came months before a national election.