Hackers target govt over filter

Hackers target govt over filter

Summary: A group of hackers mainly known for their attacks against the Church of Scientology has threatened a widespread web attack starting today against the Federal Government in an attempt to protest its internet filtering initiative.


update A group of hackers mainly known for their attacks against the Church of Scientology has threatened a widespread web attack starting today against the Federal Government in an attempt to protest its internet filtering initiative.

(Credit: Anonymous)

The group, which dubs itself Anonymous, has achieved online notoriety for previous attacks against the Church of Scientology.

The group appears to have detailed public plans online to start attacking the websites, email addresses and fax numbers of the Federal Government, particularly Communications Minister Stephen Conroy and the Australian Communications and Media Authority after the expiry of an ultimatum published one month earlier.

"A state of war between Anonymous and the Australian Government, and between Anonymous and all other governments which find themselves so inclined to impose censorship upon the internet, will be recognised," the site, which describes the proposed attack as "Project Didgeridie" states. "We need to blast their servers into the dust."

Intelligent Business Research Services advisor and security expert James Turner said Anonymous should let Australians deal with the internet filter issue as per normal political processes.

"We are a democracy and this is one of the most popular governments ever," he told ZDNet.com.au this morning. "In contrast to this, the censorship plan has clearly been driven by a few fringe politicians who are out of touch."

"If these politicians fail to understand the sentiment in Australia around this censorship plan then it's very likely that they will be removed from their seats at the next election. This is how Australia works. We're probably the most stable democracy in the world, and we'll simply vote these politicians out."

Turner said Australia's press had done a "sensational job of eviscerating the censorship plan", which he said was "now effectively dead in the water". Consequently, violent attacks were not required.

A spokesperson for Minister Conroy's office had not yet responded to a request for comment on the issue.

Topics: Censorship, Government, Government AU

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  • You fail it

    Why didn't you mention that Scientology Australia is a major proponent of this internet censorship initiative? A bizarre omission.

    You seem to believe that "Anonymous" is an entity of some sort. You are mistaken. True, a few dozen Anonymous "hackers on steroids" made "online attacks" on Scientology nearly 2 years ago. Now, however, tens of thousands of people from around the world, of all ages, from all walks of life, call themselves Anonymous, in the collective goal to make Scientology accountable for its crimes. Most of these Anonymous couldn't hack their way out of paper bag.

    Your error is similar to something like this failure of logic:

    Fish live underwater.
    Some people have the surname "Fish"
    Those people live underwater

    Please do a little research before you write inflammatory articles.
  • oh yeah what a threat.

    Yeah... some douchebag with iMovie posts a vague threat on youtube and you give them a nice spotlight.

    Thanks for participating ZDnet "journalists." Seriously Renai you should go back to reviewing consumer electronics.
  • Research?

    A quick look through the ZDNet articles fails to give any indication of why the group Anonymous would consider this attacks. I'll give you a hint, it's not out of the blue, it's due to a "request" from the Scientology side to have websites opposing their views blocked by the filters.

    Not to redirect to another side, but here's some info on it for everyone .. http://www.cio.com.au/article/317738
  • Consumer electronics

    I don't think I've ever reviewed consumer electronics! ;)

    And I think it's safe to say this is a fairly serious threat, when the Australian Federal Police gets involved:


    Or would you have us not report this sort of news at all?


    News Editor
  • Scientology

    Re Scientology, my impression was that it was a fairly small group.

    As for Anonymous not being an entity; I know it is a fairly diffuse group, but it has come together at some level to have a web site, with various participants discussing things on forums and IRC and so on.

    There is at least a loose "grouping" and level of organisation going on.

    Kind regards,

    Renai LeMay
    News Editor
  • You fail it : Meow Macao -- 09/09/09

    What a load of codswollop Meow... Scientology Australia only just recently got a mention on this whole issue, that is a bizarre misinformation...

    That is what I would call an inflammatory comment...

    People should take on the lunatic Scientologists wherever they can, but making some ultimatum to the Australian gov about ISP filtering and threatening DDOS attacks is naive and childish.

    Renai's article was pretty spot on, however Turner'[s comment about "dead in the water" is a pipe dream and wishful thinking. Conroy has not taken a single step back from his policy and plans yet, even if Minchin is frothing at the mouth... Politics, mes amigos, is politics.

    Conroy now has enough ammo to pass whatever cyber security laws he wants, so a great big "thanks" to Anonymous and any other dim brained DDOS twerps who figure kicking around gov websites will get you anywhere with a 65% popular government...

    My mate sells Cisco DDOS boxes, he will be having a field day, as will the filter vendies...

    Please note that there is content inappropriate for viewers under 18 years of age available at insurgen.info link. ZDNet needs to review this link as there is no warning (or forseeability for a user) that the linked page contains material inappropriate for <18 years viewers. The linked page appears to have been modified since first posting.
  • Anonymous

    actually, if you read, We are only prodding the gov to respond to us. The filter is expensive and logistically shitty, resulting in millions of wasted funds to block a lot of legal sites. What we are doing is getting their attention and saying "Ummm, no, STFU and quit your fail forthwith!"

    Who cares about Scientology? So long as they don't get in anyone's way, let them worship whatever they choose.

    What I care about is losing simple little freedoms like surfing for whatever I dog namn choose without pricks like Conroy and the tall order above him blocking it.

    If you want to protect children, give the AFP more $$$ and powers!

    Out with those who do not represent or have REAL interests for the people of this nation!!
  • Censorship is evil

    It's okay for Conroy to dodge his own state surrogate laws an go to another state to do his business.

    Censorship is a bit much for a man who isn't even decent enough to respect his own local laws.

    Pure criminal.
  • We've removed the link


    Renai LeMay
    News Editor
  • The Anonymous attack...

    Hi y’all…

    We people in the web filtering sector would like to express our high levels of gratitude to the great dudes at Anonymous. True heroes of our cause.

    Our immediate feedback from the folks involved in the Australian ISP filtering review are now 110% certain that Conroy will have his numbers in the Senate, as several Libs are now ready to cross the floor and vote against what they see as cyber threats. The ISP filtering laws are as good as passed.


    Anonymous, just let us know when we can buy you guys a few beers. We could now use your help in various European countries, that are still not convinced that they need more cyber protection…

    Once again, great work. If there is anything that brings polarized politicians back together, it is an attack from some fringe group on their facilities. Brilliant move, I just love it.

    Now if you could just focus on France and Italy next please…
  • @Anonymous

    I assume you are from or associated with the group Anonymous.

    No, what this attack does is give indicatation that some level of protection is needed. Sure the filter would be irrelevent to this attack but in the eyes of someone who is non-technical it still falls under the "protection" catagory. All that has been achieved is for extra fuel for the filter to make it through and become real.

    Well done Anonymous, your efforts to stop the filter may end up nulifying all the work done by people truly trying to stop the filter and result in it become an actuality.
  • Actual video link maybe?

    Perhaps visitors to this news article would like to see the video with the threats?
  • I thought it was the christian lobby, not scientology?

  • christian lobby group

    Bah at title getting cut. I thought it was the christian lobby groups that were the primary, and sole proponents of the internet filter..?
  • Bunch of idiots

    Right .. and it's going to take the AFP exactly how long to find the person who posted that video. Well thought out plan of attack there.
  • Uhuh...

    It would be pretty impressive If the AFP could trace uploads through one or more proxies, especially since most are deliberately setup for anonymity and hardly keep logs.
  • Well...

    If the government was clever enough to drop such a flawed idea of the mandatory internet filter/censorship, none of this would of happened. Basically they just p*ssed off the wrong people.
  • Amateurs

    You're really ignorant aren't you. In your mind are the AFP just a bunch of idiots who have no clue what they're doing? is that seriously your opinion?

    This wasn't just some idiot move, this was a DOS attack on a federal government website, If you really think that an anonymous proxy server is going to protect you than best of luck is all that I can say.