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McCormack Says Census Experienced Denial Of Service Attack And Hardware Problems But No Data Lost Or Compromised

The Minister for Small Business, Michael McCormack, says the problems with the Australian Census last night were neither an attack or a hack. “It was an attempt to frustrate the collection of data,” the minister told a press conference this morning.


McCormack said the security of the Australian Bureau of Statistics was not compromised and no data was lost.

McCormack said a denial of service attack occurred at about 7.15pm last night. This was followed by a hardware fault when a router failed. A denial of service attack occurs when a computer system is flooded with connections that overload the system and prevent it being accessible to genuine users.

According to McCormack, the first denial of service increase in traffic occurred at 10.08am yesterday. An outage lasting 5 minutes occurred. This was repeated at 11.46am. At 11.50am, all international traffic to the website was blocked. This is a standard means of countering a denial of service attack. [Read more…]

Bureau Of Statistics Website Crashes; Census Debacle Embarrasses Government

11.55pm – The Federal Government faces ridicule in the coming days, following tonight’s Census debacle.

As unknown numbers of people attempted to submit their census forms through the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) website, the server crashed. Around 11.30pm, the ABS announced on Twitter that the service would not be restored tonight and an update will be issued tomorrow.

Whilst many people completed the census online without any difficulty, it appears that the sheer volume of traffic during the evening was too much for the system.

The Minister for Small Business, Michael McCormack, said in a statement that Australians would not be fined for not completing the census tonight.

The technical problems followed days of debate about privacy and security issues, following an announcement by the ABS that names of census participants would be retained for four years.

Statement from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Click to enlarge.


[Read more…]