Home / News

Australia’s First Online Census Halted Due to Multiple DDoS Attacks

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports deliberate and “malicious” attacks from offshore, designed to sabotage nation’s first online 2016 Census. “Clarification on whether the government is backtracking from its initial diagnosis of a DDoS—which is an attack—has been sought by Guardian Australia from the ABS [Australian Bureau of Statistics], but the explanation has been the subject of some scepticism,” writes Elle Hunt in the Guardian.

Alastair MacGibbon, the prime minister’s special adviser on cybersecurity, said it was the sort of assault typically used against government systems. ‘A denial of service is not a breach. It’s not designed to take data,’ he said. ‘A denial of service is designed to frustrate.’ Aug 10 / New York Times

“Census Fail… and the dangers of estimating traffic,” Danny Bishop, a Melbourne-based digital media strategist writes: “Of course the technology failed. There’s no doubting that Ultimately that’s the cause of everything. But someone, somewhere doomed it all to fail when they estimated the traffic. In the week leading up to Census night, spokespeople for the ABS stated that they had tested the site to 1,000,000 form submissions per hour - twice the load they expected. So what that tells us is that the ABS actually expected 500,000 form submissions per hour, and tested to 200% of that figure. How did the ABS come up with that figure?”

“I Didn’t Put My Name on the Census,” Paul Budde today in CircleID: “Our leaders seem to be totally oblivious to the concerns many citizens have, and they have failed to properly address these concerns… In order to stand up for privacy, democracy and liberty I defied the law and did not put my name on the Census, simply in order to send out a message that I don’t like the fact that people within the ABS and the government do not seem to take our concerns seriously.”

By CircleID Reporter

CircleID’s internal staff reporting on news tips and developing stories. Do you have information the professional Internet community should be aware of? Contact us.

Visit Page

Filed Under


Comment Title:

  Notify me of follow-up comments

We encourage you to post comments and engage in discussions that advance this post through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can report it using the link at the end of each comment. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of CircleID. For more information on our comment policy, see Codes of Conduct.

CircleID Newsletter The Weekly Wrap

More and more professionals are choosing to publish critical posts on CircleID from all corners of the Internet industry. If you find it hard to keep up daily, consider subscribing to our weekly digest. We will provide you a convenient summary report once a week sent directly to your inbox. It's a quick and easy read.

I make a point of reading CircleID. There is no getting around the utility of knowing what thoughtful people are thinking and saying about our industry.

Co-designer of the TCP/IP Protocols & the Architecture of the Internet




Sponsored byVerisign

New TLDs

Sponsored byRadix

Domain Names

Sponsored byVerisign


Sponsored byDNIB.com

Brand Protection

Sponsored byCSC

IPv4 Markets

Sponsored byIPv4.Global

Threat Intelligence

Sponsored byWhoisXML API