Anonymous Hackers Hit Australian Spy Service

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Members of Anonymous recently targeted Australia's national security intelligence service.

"On Friday, Anonymous claimed on [the] Operations Australia Twitter account that it had brought down the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation's (ASIO's) site for at least 30 minutes and was also targeting the Defence Signals Directorate (DSD)," writes The Register's Natalie Apostolou. "While there [were] reported intermittent issues at both sites, neither [was] down for significant periods of time."

"ASIO admitted that it has been experiencing some technical difficulties with its site, but stated that any disruption would not represent a risk to its business, since it does not host any classified information on its public website," writes ZDNet's Michael Lee. "While DDoS attacks do not require the targeted website to be breached, ASIO declined to comment on whether its systems have remained secure from penetration."

"A number of other distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and website defacements have been levelled at some 10 government agencies in the past month," write The Canberra Times' Lucy Battersby and Ben Grubb. "The group also recently took data and customer records belonging to business telco AAPT from a data centre and published it on a website. Anonymous conducted the attack because it wanted to highlight the dangers of a proposal to force telcos to store every Australian's web history for up to two years."

"Unlike the high-profile hacks into Sony, HB Gary and Stratfor, the denial of service attacks don't release information," writes The Atlantic Wire's Adam Martin. "In fact, they're not technically even hacks. Rather, they knock a site offline for a while just to make a statement, as with Anonymous's Operation Payback that took down PayPal for blocking donations to Wikileaks. That attack cost PayPal money because people couldn't use it, but the only thing disabling the ASIO does is show it's possible. It's the online version of occupying the lobby, and it still works."