Australia appoints cybersecurity chief

Australia has appointed a senior air force commander as its inaugural cybersecurity boss in response to an alarming surge in network intrusions and major data breaches.
Cybersecurity for CSOsAir Marshal Darren Goldie, a highly experienced veteran with 30 years of service, has been named as the national cybersecurity coordinator, according to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

Starting his term on July 3, Darren Goldie will lead the government’s efforts to enhance the nation’s security capabilities and effectively address cyber threats.

During a media briefing, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese emphasized the significance of this appointment in meeting the challenges posed by emerging cyber threats.

The decision to establish this national cybersecurity role follows a recent breach at Australian law firm HWL Ebsworth, which has been targeted by hackers. Clients of the law firm include major banks and government departments.

It is suspected that the ransomware group BlackCat, also known as ALPHV, may have leaked stolen data on the dark web. However, the country’s top four banks have confirmed that their systems were unaffected by this incident.

In January 2023, Australia ranked as the fifth-most targeted country by data thieves, according to IDCare, a government-backed service assisting victims of identity theft.

The Australian government has implemented security reforms and established an agency responsible for overseeing government investments and coordinating responses to hacker attacks.

The appointment of Air Marshal Darren Goldie as the head of this agency is considered a crucial step in fortifying Australia’s defenses against cyber threats.

Significant breaches have been reported by health insurer Medibank and telecom company Optus, which is owned by Singapore Telecommunications.