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Census website ‘hacked’ overseas, causing crash

Ross and Russel
Article image for Census website ‘hacked’ overseas, causing crash

Independent Senator Nick Xenophon has called for an urgent inquiry after fears millions of people’s personal Census information could have been compromised by hackers.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed on Wednesday morning the website was shut down after the system came under multiple cyber attacks. 

Millions of Australians were left frustrated and unable to fill in the survey.

Mr Xenophon vowed not to fill out his Census form last week and has been critical of its handling.

‘I think we need to know which country was involved sooner rather than later,’ he said.

‘We were given assurances by the government by the ABS this would not happen, but it has.

‘So what does that do to their other assurances?’

He told Neil Mitchell he wished he was wrong and said he would continue to push for answers.

The Australian Signals Directorate is investigating where the overseas attack was launched from.

The ABS gave multiple assurances in the lead up to the August 9 survey that there wouldn’t be any issues.

Dr Mark Gregory, internet security expert at RMIT University, told Ross and John he wasn’t surprised.

He said the website would remain at constant risk of attack.

‘The information being put through there is a honey pot to any and all hackers,’ he said on 3AW Breakfast.

‘And it will remain a honey pot for many years to come.

‘Now that’s been made known this information is being collected through a website, hackers will be constantly trying to get access to that information.’

The website still wasn’t working on Wednesday morning.

No fines will be issue for completing the Census after August 9.

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Ross and Russel