AFP investigates govt cyber attack

AFP investigates govt cyber attack

Summary: The Australian Federal Police has been called in to investigate a planned denial-of-service attack on Australian government web servers due to occur at 7pm tonight.


The Australian Federal Police has been called in to investigate a planned denial-of-service attack on Australian government web servers due to occur at 7pm tonight.

The whole Anonymous thing is fanciful garbage. As a group it's not to be taken seriously

Network security professional

A spokesperson from the Attorney General's Department (AGD) today said it was aware of the attack planned by a loose group of online pranksters which calls itself "Anonymous". The group published its threat on YouTube last month.

"The Australian Federal Police are leading the investigation into these cyber attacks," an AGD spokesperson told "The government considers cyber security to be one of Australia's top national security priorities, as expressed by the Prime Minister in his National Security Statement last year."

The group claims its planned attack is a protest against the Federal Government's highly contentious mandatory ISP filtering proposal. "The government have [sic] until 9am (2300 GMT) on the 9/9/09 to make their position clear. If they don't back down then Anon will attack," the group claimed.

One network security professional laughed when asked whether the group was considered a serious threat. "The whole Anonymous thing is fanciful garbage. As a group it's not to be taken seriously," the source who wished their name to be withheld, told

The group has, however, achieved some online notoriety for previous attacks against the Church of Scientology.

AGD said it had advised agencies likely to be targeted — such as the Department of Broadband Communications and the Digital Economy and the Australian Communications and Media Authority — to contact their internet service providers. AGD has also provided agencies with information about the likely execution of the attacks, along with suggested mitigation strategies.

Earlier this year, the AFP was called in by the AGD to investigate the hack of the Classification Board's website, which occurred shortly after Minister for Communications Stephen Conroy appeared on the ABC's current affairs panel Q&A.

Topics: Broadband, Censorship, Government AU, Telcos, NBN

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • This means war.

    By attempting to quell the voices of our Legion, the Austrailian government not only now infringes on the rights of it's own citizens, but those of the US, UK, and many other free nations. This is a dire mistake, and they will be made to regret their actions.
  • Irony?

    Is it just me, or is it ironic that the guy who said "The whole Anonymous thing is fanciful garbage. As a group it's not to be taken seriously," wished to withhold his name?

    Plus, the government must have thought to add SOME response to the video, surely? I've watched it myself and its pretty clear what it asks for.
  • Scientology black OP in progess, again?

    Funny how this supposed threat has come along so soon after the cult of scientology australia's sumbission to Government about Anonymous has been reported on in the last few days
    Dont be surprised if this is scientology's 'Office of Special Affairs" again manufacturing threats like they did on youtube previously.
  • aww aren't you adorable

    Why don't you go outside and play now
  • lulz

    The IT pro withheld his name but thinks we are not a threat....
  • I beleive in you Anon

    Steven Conroy needs to either get with the times, or quit. He is so far behind in regards to the digital age that he is just a big farce. I actually back these Anonymous people here, and give my blessing as a Australian Citizen to do whatever is nessessary to get this idiot kicked out of parliament and someone put in who isnt going to ruin what crappy internet we have by making it worse by having this filter put in.
  • Democracy

    Democracy is a farce in Australia, powers are trying to curtail freedom of expression under the pretence of protection, or trying to make money out of a problem that does not exist. They have nothing better to do.
  • Anonymous doesn't do DDOS attacks.

    Anyone can make anonymous threats but Anonymous simply doesn't do such things, which is why the CIA, FBI and Scotland Yard cannot find any evidence to link Anonymous with any of the myriad of anonymous attacks taking place around the world.

    Declarations such as this invariably lead to a few disaffected teens or people with more of a connection to the church of scientology than to Anonymous.

    A DDOS could happen because it is easy to do but it won't be Anonymous doing it. It will be a few kids or some a group connected to the church of scientology.
  • Censorship is bad

    Also occurs to me that this is just as likely to be a stunt by the very people who want to censor the Internet in Australia. Either way sad.

    Censorship is the blunt tool of the narrow sighted, which is why it does so much damage.
  • You couldn't be more wrong...

    It's absolutely Anonymous' work. I am in contact with a London Anon and this has been officially planned by them for a couple of months now. 'Don't do DDoS'?

    oh pleeze!
  • You couldn't be more wrong.

    It's absolutely not Anonymous' work. I am in contact with the Anons on and many do not condone this action. You may find some who do, but the overall consensus is that this kind of action is counter-productive to Project Skynet for the obvious reasons. Now gtfo OSA.

    As for the article itself. This is a VERY poorly written article as Anonymous is MORE than just a group of "online pranksters".
  • Government Lack of Understanding.

    Although I consider that the Modus Operandi of annonymous leaves much to be desired, his/their actions have publisized that the Government doesnt know what it is doing in regards the net.

    The article quoted the Attorney Genrals Office giving advice to other Government Departments on how to minimise the DOS attacks.

    I find that interesting. Being a long time member of NANOG and having built three world class ISP's, I am totally unaware of any methodology to prevent a DOS on a public network except by turning off the inbound router.
    (And too me, "minimise" means prevent.)

    This illustrates my title: Govenment doesnt understand.

    The current crop of citizens representatives ruling the nation are only ten years too old to "Grok" the net.

    By 2020, the entire Government will be made of people that were weaned on the net.

    They will know and understand what is possible, dangerous or irrelevent. (I Hope).

    e.g.: ACTA is irrelevent.
    P2P is not Dangerous
    Pandering to Religious minorities is damaging the economy.
    Listening to Media companies lobbyists is damaging the economy.

    Attempting to introduce legislation that curtails the freedoms of Australians is obviously counter intuitive to long term retention of political positions.
  • Anon - Mega

    I thought the same thing. I was about to type the same comment; but thankfully I like.

    Politicians whom are self-rughteous, pompous, and egotistical always try to belittle their opponent to weaken them. But in Anons case they are only putting more fuel to the fire.

    "First they ignored us, then they laughed at us, then they fought us, then we won." -Mohandas Gandhi
  • Supression is futile....

    The Australian Government along with many other's seem to be under the false-apprehension that Anonymous is but a small group of "Bored 15 year olds"

    Anonymous is everyone, we are the person sitting next to you, we are your children, your spouses, your parents, your grandparents, we are the voice of the people, our numbers far surpass that of any single country. We are anonymous, we are society with the gloves taken off. We are void of the common individual flaws, such as empathy, and compassion. You have awakened the giant with your wrongful censorship. The Internet is ours, the people's, it is our playground. Anonymous will not stop until you leave our playground.

    One after one your internets will consecutively fail. Like that of falling dominos, once the first site has fallen it will only show your vulnerability to the world and encourage the dormant voices of the peopleto rise up and strengthen more-so the efforts of anonymous. Our moment will build and you will be eradicated from the internet.

    Only one thing must be done if you wish to prevent this. Destroy your censors. The task is simple. Omit from quelling the voices of the people and simply allow the people to freely surf what is rightfully thiers.

    By Censoring one section of the internet you are censoring the world. To infringe upon the rights of one person is a crime against humanity.
    You Have Been Warned....

    We Are Anonymous
    We do not forgive
    We do not forget
    We are Legion
    Expect us....
  • Orly?

    "As a group it's not to be taken seriously"

    Yes just disreguard us. Its not like we managed to take down an government website for an entire fucking hour or anything.
  • Anonattack

    I recall reading a comment once upon a time about anon that both made me laugh and perfectly described the kind of threat that can be generated and the degree of which they can strike if they feel they need to.

    " If there is one group, one group in this world online that you don't want to piss off it is Anonymous. The kid down the road who garnered their attention for the wrong reasons? After the initial threat his parents brought him the meanest junkyard dog you could find. Days later, the kid's a mess, his rep is beyond repair and the dog now walks funny and runs off yelping the moment it sees anything phallic in the slightest. Seriously, you don't piss off those guys."