Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Australia Census 2016: Website Hacked, Sensitive Info Leaked?

Australia Census 2016: Website Hacked, Sensitive Info Leaked?

Flickr/Clean Green

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The Australian Bureau of Statistics has confessed shutting down the Census website intentionally on Tuesday night to ensure keeping the data obtained from the public safe and secure.

The regulator said that there was a series of Denial of Service attacks that were observed, which prompted them taking such strict decision. The Australian government took an advanced initiative to record Census data online, which was completed successfully on Monday night. There was a vast range of questions asked on different topics, including profession, religion, domicile, recent activities, etc.

However, the regulatory body observed some external objects trying to harm the privacy of the data. As a result of which it had to lead to the closure of the Census website. On Monday, the ABS released a statement where it said that the servers suffered an outage and hence it has been temporarily shut to ensure no harmful objects ditch the privacy of the process.

The ABS tweeted and confirmed that it shut down the website after observing a fourth attack on the website after 7:30 pm.  Australian Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim launches an investigation on Wednesday morning to inspect about the DDOS attacks. He said that the first priority of the investigation is to ensure no personal information has been compromised in the attacks.

ABS chief statistician David Kalisch said that the hackers targeted the website and it was clear that the attack was “malicious.”

One of the experts on data breaches in the world, Troy Hunt, claimed that the regulatory body was unprepared for the attacks. “The real question is did the ABS have what we would reasonably consider sufficient scale?” News.com.au quoted him as saying.

“Based on the attack maps we are seeing, it is unlikely that it was some sort of unprecedented scale. I think that the more likely explanation is that they just simply won’t prepared. This is probably not a large attack, it’s probably a smaller attack if it was an attack at all.”