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Target: Australia!

Put another shrimp on ye barbie, me hearties!

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.

Torrentfreak has more:

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.”

Delimiter has a different take.

“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.

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The Hammer Comes Down on Andrew Crossley

Filesharing will kill music, just like the radio and the phonograph did.


Know what else was in those leaked emails from ACS:Law? Lists of users of Sky Internet and their pornography purchases. This isn’t just unethical, it’s blatantly illegal. The Solicitor’s Regulation Authority hit the tip of the iceberg of corruption that makes up ACS:Law. The thuggish and mafia-like behavior of the recording industry and its “anti-piracy” cronies are developing into a distinct pattern: illegal acts are justified if you are in the employ of a multi-billion dollar industry and are targeting college students, pensioners and people with no money. The gears of capitalist greed grind on– but not for long, it would seem. What greedy band of recording industry hitmen are next?

Here is Privacy International’s announcement.

Privacy International has announced that it is planning legal action against a UK law firm for breaching the privacy of internet users after a security breach.

The information held by ACS:Law, a law firm that has been tracking internet users to pursue legal action for breach of copyright, includes vast amounts of information on thousands of internet users. While the full extent of this breach is not yet known, one report stated that among the stolen files is a single email containing the personal information of approximately 10,000 people assumed to have been involved in file-sharing of pornographic works, exposing their names, addresses, postcodes, and Internet protocol addresses. Other reports indicate that credit card details have also been made available.

According to Alexander Hanff, PI Advisor: “This data breach is likely to result in significant harm to tens of thousands of people in the form of fraud, identity theft and severe emotional distress.”

“This firm collected this information by spying on internet users, and now it has placed thousands of innocent people at risk.”

PI has briefed the Information Commissioner’s Office and is preparing a complaint. PI is also accepting complaints directly from the public, and we urge anyone who is a victim of this breach to get in touch as soon as possible by emailing alex@privacy.org.

The BBC has more.

Simon Davis, from the watchdog Privacy International, said he would be asking the Information Commissioner to “conduct a full investigation” and hoped it would be “a test case of the Information Commissioner’s new powers”.

“You rarely find an aspect where almost every aspect of the Data Protection Act (DPA) has been breached, but this is one of them,” said Mr Davies.

“It fits perfectly for the term ‘egregious misuse’ of personal data,” he added.

Crossley’s reaction has been priceless, claiming that hackers broke into his site and uncovered classified material. This is another obvious and blatant lie. During the process of ACS:Law’s website being returned to operational status, administrators foolishly published the entire email database on a public page and made no effort to conceal this from the thousands of people then scouring their site with a fine-toothed comb. Crossley shot himself in the foot and is now trying to backpedal. Lolz.

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