China aims DDoS at Rupert Murdoch

China aims DDoS at Rupert Murdoch

Summary: News Limited has had numerous distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks aimed at its infrastructure in Australia and around the globe, according to its Australian IT security manager, Bob Hinch.

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TOPICS: Security
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update News Limited has had numerous distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks aimed at its infrastructure in Australia and around the globe, according to its Australian IT security manager, Bob Hinch.

Bob Hinch

News Limited's Bob Hinch
(Credit: Ben Grubb/ZDNet.com.au)

Hinch, who is one of four working on IT security in Australia for News Limited was at a media briefing held by security company Websense in Sydney today, where he revealed the media giant had been hit by numerous DDoS attacks. The attacks often came together with emailed notices demanding the retraction of articles, which he said he mostly referred to the police.

But the police had little power to do anything about it, he said, and often the problem had been referred to the Australian High Tech Crime Centre.

"It's very difficult to get the police to pay attention to some of these issues and the threats we get," Hinch said.

Many of the attacks originated "especially" from the Chinese Government, according to Hinch, and they occurred when something written by one of News Limited's journalists "hit a raw nerve" and wasn't in favour of the attacker's view. "It depends on the story you're running," he said.

Hinch told ZDNet.com.au that the attacks were growing "more and more political" and they weren't stopping.

Asked if the media giant had ever bowed down to pressure and retracted an article, Hinch said that only in the case of death threats to its journalists did things start to become serious. "The police get very interested then," he said.

Although Hinch would not give an example of a news article or site which had been targeted in this manner, he did say that News Limited's business listing website TrueLocal.com.au had been hit recently. He wouldn't go into detail about where that attack originated from.

Hinch said part of the problem he saw was that there was not a lot of case law to litigate against the attacks.

Topic: Security

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  • It has been pointed out by News Limited that the use of the word "extortion" in the second paragraph of the article above was perhaps not the right word for the situation. We agree and have amended the sentence.

    Suzanne Tindal, News Editor ZDNet.com.au
    stindal