Australia’s home affairs department hit by DDoS attack claimed by pro-Russia hackers | Australia news | The Guardian

Australia’s home affairs department hit by DDoS attack claimed by pro-Russia hackers | Australia news | The Guardian

The department responsible for Australia’s cybersecurity, national security and immigration has confirmed it was hit with a distributed denial-of-service attack on Thursday night that took its website offline for five hours, after a pro-Russia hacker group said it would target the site over Australia’s support for Ukraine.

The group posted on Telegram on Thursday night that it was targeting the home affairs department with a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack after Australia announced this week that Slinger technology aimed at combating drones would be sent to Ukraine in the push back against the Russian invasion.

“A state from the distant mainland of Australia decided to keep up with the global Russophobic trend and announced the transfer of the Slinger ‘drone killer system’ to Kyiv,” an English translation of the post stated.

“It’s a shame (not really) that Australia doesn’t have systems in place to track our DDoS attacks!”

A DDoS attack floods a site with traffic in a coordinated way in an attempt to make that service inaccessible.

The home affairs website was taken down for about five hours – mostly while Australia was sleeping – between 10pm and just after 3am AEDT.

It is understood the site was restored after the department implemented its cyber incident response arrangements.

A spokesperson for the department said the outage had been “brief” overnight, and no data was accessed by the threat actor.

“An investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident is under way, but initial assessments indicate that the DDoS attack was solely designed to prevent access to our websites,” the spokesperson said.

The department has notified the required authorities about the attack.

It is understood that as of Friday afternoon the department was still experiencing intermittent performance issues on its website as a result of the attack.

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The group has been targeting countries lending support to Ukraine since March last year, including Canada, the US, Denmark, Germany, Norway and Poland, but it is believed this is the first attack targeting Australia from the group.

Parliament House’s website was also experiencing issues on Friday, with a number of pages not loading.

However, a spokesperson for the Department of Parliamentary Services, which manages the website, said the issues were unrelated, and not due to a cyber-attack.

“The APH website has been intermittently unavailable due to a vendor infrastructure issue,” a DPS spokesperson said.

“The issue is being resolved. The issues are not cybersecurity related.”

As of 12 July, Australia’s total assistance to Ukraine was $890m, with $710m in military assistance.

This content was originally published here.

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