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Australia faces growing cyberspace threat

Dec. 17, 2012 at 12:55 PM

MELBOURNE, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Australia's military is keenly interested in cyber technology as an offensive weapon.

Cyberspace is being labeled the "fifth domain" for warfare, after land, sea, air and space.

"Defense is reliant on information and communications technology for its operations," an unidentified Australian defense official told The Sunday Herald Sun said.

"We need to develop capabilities that mitigate risks that come with such reliance. While Defense recognizes the need to consider cyberspace in its planning, the implications of cyberspace as a war-fighting domain are still being closely examined."

Australian Strategic Policy Institute senior analyst Tobias Feakin told the newspaper that Australia and many Western governments had only belatedly recognized the cyberthreat.

"A lot of attacks are explorative in their nature, testing the defenses of the systems," Feakin said. "You have constant accusations China and Russia are conducting an enormous number of attacks."

In 2009 Australia founded its Cyber Security Operations Center within the Defense Signals Directorate.

In light of its increased work load, the DSD is recruiting analysts, business managers, information security specialists, technicians and linguists, an announcement on the center's website stated.

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