Hack attack disrupts online Census 2016

By August, 2016 Federal, ICT
Four cyber attack put the Australian Bureau of Statistics to an unprecedented standstill as Australians were filling out their online Census 2016 forms.

Image: GovNews

After all the scare mongering on social media and even from some of Australia’s high profile elected officials, it looked like everyone’s worst fears about the 2016 Census had a ground to stand on when the ‘unthinkable’ happened.

On the morning after Australians across the nation took a few moments to fill out their Census forms, whether online or on paper form, Australian Statistician David W. Kalisch announced that the 2016 online Census form was subject to four Denial of Service (DoS) attacks “of varying nature and severity”.

Put simply, a DoS attack is a malicious attempt to render a computing service unavailable, usually by overwhelming it with large numbers of requests and overloading the servers. Such an attack results in crowding out legitimate users who are then unable to access the service.

According to Mr Kalisch, the first three incidents caused “minor disruption”, but more than two million forms were successfully submitted and safely stored.

However, after the fourth attack, just after 7:30pm, the Australian Bureau of Statistics took the precaution of closing down the system to ensure the integrity of the data.

Mr Kalisch said steps have been taken during the night to remedy these issues.

And as government officials maintained in the lead up to the Census by trying to comfort people’s nerves about privacy issues and the potential vulnerability of online data, Mr Kalisch said “I can reassure Australians that their data are secure at the ABS”.

When it was reported on the 9th August that the site was inaccessible, the prevailing assumption was that the ABS servers were simply not up to the task to process such a vast amount of requests from legitimate users at the same time.

This assumption caused a mild, online panic from users about whether they would be slugged a $180 fine per day for not being able to meet the Census deadline on time.

But Mr Kalisch wanted to remind Australians that they have plenty of time to complete the Census, to well into September.

“Again note that fines will not be imposed for completing the Census after Census night,” Mr Kalisch said.

Filming begins on Godzilla vs Kong on the Gold Coast as Queensland government ramps up excitement for millions of dollars in tourism income.

Godzilla vs Kong rolls cameras in QLD

| Entertainment, State | No Comments
Sunshine State expecting roaring tourism returns.
Noushin Shabab and Negar Shabab, being some of the top cybersecurity gurus of their age, share their thoughts on fixing Australia's digital talent shortage.

5 Minutes With… Noushin Shabab and Negar Shabab, Cybersecurity Twins

| 5 Minutes With... | No Comments
How should Australia fix the cybersecurity talent shortage of the next generation? Find out here!
After Malcolm Turnbull's dramatic exit, now is Prime Minister Scott Morrison's opportunity to rewrite the rulebook for the election and unite the party.

PM ScoMo: same pitch, new salesman

| Analysis, Federal | No Comments
New leader’s great opportunity after Turnbull hits a dead end.
After, the duel-citizenship-induced bi-election of July 2018, the rules have changed for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.

After by-election, leadership debate will roar again

| Analysis, Federal | No Comments
'Super Saturday' fallout to haunt PM until next federal election.
GovNews Newsletter

Stay informed with GovNews...

Gain valuable insights into the latest news, 5 Minutes With, up-coming events and government concepts and initiatives exclusive to eNews.

Only use your corporate email address to sign up. Personal emails (e.g. gmail, yahoo, hotmail, live etc…) will be removed.

You will need to confirm your subscription. Check your junk folder if you have not received a confirmation.