Australia’s cyber coordinator has been recalled to Defence to deal with a workplace matter, with Home Affairs’ critical infrastructure lead brought in to cover the position while the government continues responding to a major cyber attack.
Defence issued a brief statement on Wednesday saying National Cyber Security Coordinator, Air Marshal Darren Goldie, had “been recalled to Defence to deal with a workplace matter related to his time in Defence”.
“He is currently on leave. While the matter is under consideration it would be inappropriate to comment further.”
Defence asked for Air Marshall Goldie’s privacy to be respected.
Air Marshall Goldie began the new role in July, tasked with leading the new National Office for Cyber Security that coordinates responses to major cyber incidents and develops policy.
He previously held several senior positions across Defence in a 30-year Australian Defence Force career.
The cyber coordinator had this week been leading the government’s response to a significant cyber incident impacting maritime port facilities operated by DP World Australia, including co-chairing a meeting of the National Coordination Mechanism.
Operations at DP World ports began resuming on Tuesday but the government flagged its ongoing investigation and response to the incident would mean there may be temporary disruptions to services.
“While port operations have resumed, this doesn’t mean the incident has concluded,” Cybersecurity minister Clare O’Neil said.
Ms O’Neil, who appointed Air Marshall Goldie in June, said she learnt of his recall to Defence on Wednesday.
“Department of Home Affairs Deputy Secretary of Cyber and Infrastructure Security Hamish Hansford will act as National Cyber Security Coordinator in the interim,” she said in a brief statement.
Mr Hansford oversees the Home Affairs Cyber and Infrastructure Security Centre, which also plays a coordination role but its remit extends beyond cyber incidents.
A new national strategy for cybersecurity is expected to be released by the government in the coming weeks.
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