AFP and RBA websites hit by DDoS attacks

Summary:The websites of the Australian Federal Police and the Reserve Bank of Australia were hit by DDoS attacks overnight as relations between Australia and Indonesia continue to strain.

The websites for the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Reserve Bank of Australia were hit overnight by distributed denial of service attacks claimed to be brought about by Indonesians angry over the leaks that reveal Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) had been tapping the phones of high ranking Indonesian government officials, including President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

The AFP's website was for some time overnight but was restored this morning, with one Twitter user claiming responsibility for bringing the sites down using the hashtags #AnonymousIndonesia and #IndonesiaCyberArmy.

The AFP said it was taking the attack "very seriously" but said that no sensitive information was hosted on the public-facing website.

"The AFP website is not connected to AFP IT systems. The AFP website is not hosted by AFP ICT infrastructure. It is hosted by a third party hosting provider," the AFP spokesperson said in a statement.

The spokesperson said he was not at liberty to divulge the name of the hosting company. The AFP said the attacks were irresponsible and would not influence government policy.

"Activities such as hacking, creating or propagating malicious viruses or participating in DDOS attacks are not harmless fun. They can result in serious long-term consequences for individuals, such as criminal convictions or jail time," he said.

"AFP Cyber Crime Operations identifies, investigates and prosecutes individuals or groups for offences committed against Australian critical infrastructure and information systems."

The RBA's website was affected by the DDoS attacks, but a spokesperson for the RBA denied that the website had been brought down.

"There has been no outage but the Bank’s website has been experiencing access delays for some users," the spokesperson said.

"The bank has DOS protection for its website, which has been effectively deployed. The bank's website and systems remain secure."

The attacks come as Australia's relationship with Indonesia continues to strain in the wake of the phone tapping revelations leaked earlier this week by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Prime Minister Tony Abbott is facing increasing pressure from the Indonesian government to explain the revelations.

Updated at 12:22pm November 21, 2013:  Clarified that the RBA's website was hit but not taken offline.

Topics: Security, Australia, Government, Government : AU

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Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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