How conspiracy theorists were right about Census 2016 hacking

Emily Crane   Leith Huffadine

www.dailymail.co.uk

11th August 2016

Were the conspiracy theorists RIGHT about the Census? ABS says hackers crashed government website despite ‘hand on heart’ promise Australians’ private details would be protected

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics census website was attacked by hackers
  • Chief statistician said they are working to find out source of foreign attack
  • It comes after census website was shut down on Tuesday at about 7.30pm
  • Government had repeatedly assured Australians data would be secure  

The Australian Bureau of Statistics claims its website was shut down after being attacked by foreign hackers as millions tried to complete the census online on Tuesday night 

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The ABS has now launched a joint investigation with the nation’s defence intelligence agency into the assault.

‘It was an attack,’ chief statistician David Kalisch told ABC radio on Wednesday.

‘The scale of the attack, it was quite clear it was malicious.’

The source of the attacks is unknown but Mr Kalisch admitted they came from overseas.

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The ABS is now going into damage control and has reassured those 1.3 million Australians – including Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull – who did manage to complete the census that their private details are secure.

It comes after a number of politicians who had vowed to risk the $180-a-day fine and withhold their names from the census amid privacy concerns were accused by the ABS of spreading ‘misunderstandings’.

Online security experts had predicted the census would be targeted by hackers but this was downplayed by the government who assured Australians their details would be safe.

Some had raised fears about the safety of the online system for completing the census, including that some of its protection was out of date and easy to hack.

Daemon Singer, treasurer for Electronic Frontiers Australia, a non-profit promoting digital freedom, access and privacy, told Daily Mail Australia the data would be a ‘honeypot’ for hackers.

‘It will be sitting there and people will look at it and think what can we sell that for? The answer is billions,’ he said prior to the census.

Thousands of Australians had planned to boycott the census after it was discovered the ABS would be holding onto data for four years instead of the standard 18 months.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics shut down the census website after being targeted by hackers four times

Millions of Australians were met with error messages on Tuesday as they tried to complete the online census as the ABS system descended into meltdown.

The ABS apologised for the mass outage and initially claimed the website had been overloaded by users.

They have since backtracked and confirmed the site was hacked.

In the past Australian government websites have been attacked by Chinese hackers.

A number of digital assaults on the census website began during the day on Tuesday and were repelled.

Australians logging on to complete the compulsory census online were met with error messages on Tuesday night as the ABS system descended into meltdown

ABS previously said the outage was due to the high volume of users accessing the site, but confirmed on Wednesday the site had been hacked

ABS previously said the outage was due to the high volume of users accessing the site, but confirmed on Wednesday the site had been hacked

The ABS census site is expected to be back on line around 9am on Wednesday, but some have already claimed on social media that the recent hacking has put them off completing it

The ABS census site is expected to be back on line around 9am on Wednesday, but some have already claimed on social media that the recent hacking has put them off completing it

But the frequency increased as the evening neared and many Australians trying to reach the census site after 7pm couldn’t connect.

It was at this point the ABS said it began the process of shutting down the site.

The ABS released a statement around 11.30pm on Tuesday advising the websites was unavailable.

It’s reassured Australians they won’t be fined for not completing the census on Tuesday.

The ABS census site is expected to be back on line around 9am on Wednesday, but some have already claimed on social media that the recent hacking has put them off completing the survey.

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Thousands have taken to social media to slam the ABS for the botched census.

‘Hackers crashed the census site but don’t worry, you have until Sept 23 to enter your personal info so it can be hacked at a later date,’ on Twitter user wrote.

Another tweeted: ‘We’ve never been hacked’ less than 15 hours after peak census… ‘we got attack’ – good job idiots.’

‘Dear ‘ABSCensus ‘Hackers Hacked The Census’, if true, reflects on your woeful preparation, design & implentation.

‘My census answers were also hacked. My name is definitely not DingDong McChaddlepops.’

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has now launched a joint investigation with the nation’s defence intelligence agency into the assault

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The 2016 census has been fraught with contention after it was discovered the ABS would be holding onto data for four years instead of the standard 18 months.

Labor now wants the minister responsible for the botched census, Michael McCormack, to resign after the foreign cyber attack.

Shadow assistant treasurer Andrew Leigh is furious the government failed to properly explain its decision to take the national survey online.

‘If you can’t get the census right how can you govern the country,’ he told ABC radio on Wednesday.

Australians have until September 18 to complete the paper forms and September 23 online – based on those in your dwelling on the night of August 9.

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Posted on August 11, 2016, in ConspiracyOz Posts. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Let us all collectively raise the middle digit to the ABS (Always Bull Shitting).

    As you know, a leopard doesn’t change its spots.

    Once a liar, always a liar.

    With this in mind, I would assume the census is going to be redone after this monumental cock-up, so here’s what I will be doing again.

    There is the ‘gone fishing’ approach to not participating in the census. As census data is based on where you are staying on census night, go camping in a remote location with no internet service, no ‘remote pickup stations’, and no access for the any of the little census stooges to come visit and force a paper copy into your hand.

    There are plenty of these places around if you know where to look.

    Be sure to call the census hotline 1300 214 532 and inform them that you will not be at your residence on the night, and that they understand your remoteness makes it impossible to complete the form. They will check, so pick your spot well.

    Be sure to get a receipt number from them and have it noted on your address.

    Camping is fun and perfectly legal, and cheaper than a flight overseas (which is also a good excuse).

    Cheers.

    Like

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