Census website attacked by foreign hackers
Updated: 7:08 am, Wednesday, 10 August 2016
The census website was shut down after being attacked by foreign hackers, the Australian Bureau of Statistics says.
'It was an attack,' chief statistician David Kalisch told ABC radio on Wednesday.
'It was quite clear it was malicious.' The ABS is now working with the Australian Signals Directorate to determine the source of the attack.
Mr Kalisch said so far it had been very difficult to work out where it came from.
In the past Australian government websites have been attacked by Chinese hackers.
A number of digital assaults on the census website began during the day on Tuesday and were repelled.
But the frequency increased as the evening neared and many Australians trying to reach the census site after 7pm couldn't connect.
It was at this point the ABS said it began the process of shutting down the site.
Mr Kalisch said he believed the details of people - including Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull - who had managed to successfully access the site were secure.
'I can certainly reassure Australians the data they provided is safe,' he said.
About 1.3 million people successfully completed the form until the outage at around 7.30pm (AEST) on Tuesday.
The ABS confirmed the crash was due to the high volume of users accessing the site.
The crash has prompted the Twitter hashtag '#censusfail', with hundreds of Australians taking to the social media site to express their frustration.
The census, which is held every five years, has been a divisive issue with the community.
The likes of independent senators Nick Xenophon and Jacqui Lambie along with Sarah Hanson-Young and Scott Ludlam from the Greens are resisting the compulsory request to provide their names and addresses amid privacy concerns.
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