Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has called attacks on government websites meant as a protest against his planned filtering scheme "totally irresponsible".
Stephen Conroy at AusCERT
(Credit: Liam Tung & Ed Tran/ZDNet.com.au)
"Denial-of-service [DOS] attacks on government websites are totally irresponsible and potentially deny services to the Australian public," a spokesperson for Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said in a statement to ZDNet.com.au.
"The government welcomes public debate on the merits of ISP [internet service provider] filtering, but denial-of-service attacks are not a legitimate form of political statement."
The attacks, claimed to have been led by a group called Anonymous and dubbed "Operation Titstorm", hit the Australian Parliament House and Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy websites this morning.
At 2:00pm the Department of Broadband's website was live again while parliament's remained down. At 2:20pm the Department of Immigration's website was not responsive. Despite this, the Department of Immigration responded to queries by stating that it was functioning "without issue".
Anonymous appeared to be using Internet Relay Chat (IRC) to coordinate the attack, with chat members saying they planned to further the attacks to other government websites, including the Department of Immigration's and the National Security website.
"KEEP HITTING APH [Australian Parliament House] AND IMMI [Immigration], hit nationalsecurity.gov.au if you have resources," said IRC user Snafu.
"[These] servers are held up by a piece of string and a slab of scotch tape," said a chat user with the handle Lolollol.
Technology experts group SAGE-AU also condemned the attacks.
"While SAGE-AU believes that imminent internet filtering legislation will fail to work, it has condemned DOS attacks as the wrong way to express disagreement with the proposed law."