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Australia and UK join forces to tackle cyber threats from hostile states

The UK and Australia ally to combat cyberattacks from state actors and malign groups who seek to undermine freedom and democracy.

Today, Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payn and Britain's Foreign Secretary Liz Truss signed a Cyber and Critical Technology Partnership in Sydney - the newest pact in the trilateral security cooperation between Australia, the US, and the UK.

“Australia and the UK share the goal that technology is used to uphold and protect liberal democratic values, and to benefit our societies, economies and national security,” the official statement reads.

During the first stages of the partnership, the alliance will participate in strengthening cyber response capabilities in the Indo-Pacific region, raising the costs for hostile state cyber activity, working on an action plan on global standard-setting, and advancing the Women in Cyber agenda.

“The UK is committed to building a ‘network of liberty’ and that means championing democracy by supporting countries in the Indo-Pacific to resolve their development needs,” Truss is quoted in a statement.

On Friday, Australia's defense and foreign affairs ministers will meet Britain's defense secretary Ben Wallace, who suggested that the countries are ready to fight back against state cyberattacks coming from Russia, China, and Iran.

"Both the UK and Australia get regular attacks from Russia and from China, Iran and other countries," Wallace said, according to Reuters.

Earlier last year, the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre stated that it tackled a record number of cyberattacks in the UK in 2021, with the majority originating from Russia. Similarly, the United States and a coalition of allies - including Britain and Australia - accused China of a global cyber hacking campaign last week.

China and Russia have continuously denied cyberattack allegations, while Iran denied their involvement in cyberattacks in Australia.

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