update A group calling themselves Anonymous have attacked two prominent government websites in a protest against the Federal Government's planned internet service provider level filtering scheme.
Operation Titstorm (Screenshot by Ben Grubb/ZDNet.com.au)
The attacks hit the Australian Parliament House and Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy websites this morning. At 10:58am the websites appeared sluggish, with some not responding.
A statement from the Attorney-General's office said the Australian Parliament House website was unavailable for approximately 50 minutes due to a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack by "individuals belonging to the 'Anonymous' group".
"It is now back online," the statement, received at 11:14am, said. But the websites still appeared sluggish.
"Australian government agencies identified as potential targets by 'Anonymous' were briefed in advance and were provided with suggested mitigation strategies," the statement said, adding that the Department of Defence Cyber Security Operations Centre continued to "monitor the situation".
The Attorney General's office has since sent ZDNet.com.au another statement at 4:32pm, saying that the Australian Parliament House website was down again.
"The [Australian Parliament House] site continues to be the target of a DDoS attack and is currently experiencing intermittent availability," the Attorney General's office sent. "The Government continues to monitor the issue and [Defence Signals Directorate] is continuing to work with affected agencies."
An source inside the parliament told ZDNet.com.au that an internal email circulated this morning said the site would be inaccessible for outside users.
The operation, named Titstorm, was launched in a bid to tell the Federal Government its mandatory ISP-level filtering plan was not wanted.
"The Australian Government will learn that one does not mess with our porn. No one messes with our access to perfectly legal (or illegal) content for any reason," the group said in a media statement.
In addition to the attacks on government servers, the Anonymous group have talked on its internet relay chat room about tying up the parliamentary offices with prank calls, emails full of pornography and small-breasted women. The group has also been encouraging users to send "black faxes", which are pages of solid black tone, with the aim to waste the recipient's ink.
The group has also been checking the status of government websites and urging each other to strike harder to gain media publicity. "KEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP APH DOWN," said one user on the chat with the handle An0nym0us.