2100 UTC on Monday, September 27 saw another coordinated DDOS attack by anonymous, this time aimed at the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT). Reports of the results are wildly conflicting, with AFACT claiming the attack not only took down their website, but also affected 8,000 other Australian websites, some operated by the Australian government. Netregsitry, AFACT’s hosting company, claims the attack prompted Netregistry to take down AFACT’s website while the attack didn’t affect any other site. Our own analysis– which consisted of simply attempting to access afact.org.au– showed that the site did not load at all during the time of the attack. Typical of the state of affairs on the internet, “hacker” attacks like these are portrayed as either being completely ineffectual or devastating on an apocalyptic level; the truth of the matter is that “real hacker attacks” are largely undetectable until a fair amount of time has elapsed.
According to an announcement by AFACT’s host, Netregistry, “A DDoS attack began to take place at approximately 8:30AM AEST, with a group of hackers attacking the firewall by flooding it with connections attempting to take down all servers.”
Although referring to those charging their Low Orbit Ion Cannons as hackers is something of a stretch, and even though the attacks were eventually dealt with by Netregistry, according to Neil Gane from AFACT nearly 8,000 other websites were also taken down in the attack.
“A lot of these sites are small Australian businesses and Government web sites,” Gane told ITnews. “They have been affected by this senseless act.”
“The AFACT website was offline due to Netregistry engineers suspending it as the target of the attack. All other sites on the shared infrastructure remained operational, albeit with some service degradation,” they added. Anonymous had planned to attack AFACT for at least 12 hours.
“We’re delighted to say our infrastructure proved to be highly resilient in the face of a particularly heavy and determined DDoS attack. All affected websites remained online and were back to full performance reasonably quickly, only experiencing intermittent connection problems throughout the day,” said Netregistry chief executive Larry Bloch.
If AFACT’s claim of “collateral damage” is true, the fault therefore rests on Netregistry for operating a woefully inadequate and obsolete system. If Netregistry’s claim is true, AFACT are bald-faced liars.
All of this is happening against the backdrop of the prospect of ACS:Law being fined £500,000 ($790,200 USD) for leaking its list of the pornography purchases of Sky Internet users. Read the BBC’s article and watch their video here.