Australia’s talking tough on a new cyber taskforce to ‘hack the hackers’, but that also puts a target on our national back

The Australian government is launching an offensive against cybercriminals, following a data breach that has exposed millions of people’s personal information.

On November 12, Minister for Cyber Security Clare O’Neil announced a taskforce to “hack the hackers” behind the recent Medibank data breach.

The taskforce will be a first-of-its-kind permanent, joint collaboration between Australian Federal Police and the Australian Signals Directorate. Its 100 or so operatives will use the same cyber weapons and tactics as cybercriminals use, to hunt them down and eliminate them as a threat.

Details on how the taskforce will operate remain murky, partly because it needs to keep this information away from criminals. But the fact remains that taking an offensive stance, while it could deter further attacks, could also put a big red cross on Australia’s back.

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