On Wednesday morning, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) tweeted that the entire census website had been compromised on Tuesday in four targeted attacks by foreign hackers.
“The online census form was subject to four denial of service attacks yesterday,” ABS’s David Kalisch told ABC News. “The first three caused minor disruption, but more than 2 million forms were successfully submitted and safely stored.
The scale of the attack, it was quite clear it was malicious.”According to Kalisch, the census website was taken offline at 7:30 p.m. local time to prevent personal data from being compromised.
With the information of every household in Australia being submitted, it would have been somewhat of a treasure trove for hackers. “Steps have been taken during the night to remedy these issues and I can certainly reassure Australians that the data they provided is safe,” Kalisch added.
Attacking Australian government systems seems to be a pastime for international hackers. In December 2015, ABC News reported the Bureau of Meteorology was hacked in a massive cyberattack.