Australia and the UK would “fight back” against cyberattacks from China, Russia and Iran, Australian Minister for Defense Peter Dutton said ahead of consultations with Britain in Sydney.
Australia’s defense and foreign affairs ministers are to meet today with British Secretary of State for Defense Ben Wallace and British Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs Liz Truss for the annual Australia-UK Ministerial Consultations.
Australia and Britain would coordinate cybersanction regimes to increase deterrence, raising the costs for hostile state activity in cyberspace, Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Marise Payne said yesterday after signing an agreement with Truss.
“Australia is committed to working with partners such as the UK to challenge malign actors who use technology to undermine freedom and democracy,” Payne said in a statement.
Dutton said that today’s meeting would have a big focus on cybersecurity.
“Both the UK and Australia get regular attacks from Russia and from China, Iran and other countries,” he said on radio, adding that they would “fight back.”
Discussions are also to identify areas where Australia and the UK can work together in the Indo-Pacific region, and on Australia’s nuclear submarine program.
The new AUKUS defence alliance with the UK and the US, which last year prompted Australia to cancel a contract for a conventional French submarine in favor of a nuclear submarine program supported by Washington and London, was crucial for Australia, he said.
“They are big countries, and they have big military machines, and are important allies and friends for us as a smaller country of only 25 million people if we are going to deter countries from aggressive behavior,” he said.
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