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Census outage marked boom year for global DDoS attacks

Census outage marked boom year for global DDoS attacks

Strikes increased every quarter of 2016

The magnitude of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks rose consistently throughout 2016, a report from communications and analysis firm, Neustar has revealed.

The company said that the frequency of DDoS attack mitigations by Neustar has increased by 40 per cent compared to the same period of time in 2015.

Based on the firm’s global survey of more than 1,000 IT security professionals, results also showed that 85 per cent of attacked organisations were attacked more than once and 44 per cent were attacked more than five times.

Similarly, network service provider, Akamai, has witnessed an increase in DDoS attacks every quarter of 2016, and between Q3 2015 and Q3 2016, the provider saw a 71 per cent increase in strikes.

Earlier in March, Akamai opened its first direct denial of service scrubbing centre in Sydney for localised analysis and protection against attacks.

At the time, Akamai principal enterprise security architect APJ, James Tin, told ARN that the new datacentre facility uses a combination of 20 technologies and personnel on the ground to monitor and mitigate attacks coming from Australia and overseas.

Tin explained the facility was setup to increase the company’s capability geographically and address data sovereignty concerns of some local customers.

However, in August, The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) blamed a series of Denial of Service attacks originating from overseas for a major outage which hit the census website, preventing people from completing the survey on the allocated Census night.

As reported by CIO, the website received three DoS attacks through the evening, the Bureau said, but after a fourth attack at around 7.30pm, it decided to close down the system to ‘ensure the integrity of the data’.

In a submission to the parliamentary committee undertaking an inquiry into the management and execution of the 2016 Census, the ABS shifted the blame to IBM, which was appointed as a contractor for the Census in late 2014.

According to the ABS, IBM fell short in meeting the risks associated with a DDoS attack.

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