Prime Minister Julia Gillard has warned that Australia is a prime target for malicious cyber attack by hackers and nations.
Launching the nation's first national security strategy today in Canberra, Ms Gillard announced the establishment of a new Australian Cyber Security Centre.
She stressed Australia was ''an attractive target for a range of malicious cyber actors'', warning attacks could come ''from politically-motivated hackers and criminal networks to nation states''.
The Prims Minister said the primary focus of the new national security strategy would be on Asia and the behaviour of state's rather than other forces.
She said the strategy had identified risks including traditional and familiar risks such as espionage and foreign interference, state-based conflict and coercion.
She said Iran and North Korea's nuclear programs remained ''serious threats'' while other risks were terrorism and violent extremism and an increasing burden from serious and organised crime.
The strategy identifies three areas for the federal government to focus on over the next five years: effective partnerships, cyber security and enhanced regional engagement.
Ms Gillard said the government would develop a national security capability plan to complement the defence capability plan.
She hoped this would help end the ''silo mentality'' that often stopped effective communication between different parts of the federal government as well as state and territory governments, foreign governments and business.
As well, the government would establish by the end of 2013 a new Australian Cyber Security Centre.