Australia’s Department of Home Affairs fell victim to a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack that disrupted its website for approximately five hours. A pro-Russia hacker group claimed responsibility for the attack, stating that it was in response to Australia’s decision to send Slinger technology to Ukraine to combat drones in the context of the Russian invasion.
Furthermore, the group had announced its intention to target the department on Telegram, emphasizing its dissatisfaction with Australia’s support for Ukraine. DDoS attacks flood a website with traffic to make it inaccessible, and this incident primarily occurred during nighttime hours in Australia.
Fortunately, the department was able to restore its website after implementing its cyber incident response measures. While the attack resulted in a brief outage, no data was accessed by the threat actors.
Authorities have initiated an investigation into the incident, although initial assessments suggest that the DDoS attack’s sole purpose was to disrupt access to the department’s websites. The attack marks the first known instance of this pro-Russia hacker group targeting Australia, although it has previously targeted countries that have offered support to Ukraine, including the US, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Norway, and Poland.
Separately, Australia’s Parliament House website experienced issues with certain pages not loading on the same day. However, the Department of Parliamentary Services clarified that these issues were unrelated to cybersecurity and were instead caused by vendor infrastructure problems, which were actively being resolved.
Australia’s commitment to Ukraine’s cause amounted to $890 million as of July 12, 2023, with a significant portion allocated to military assistance, reflecting its ongoing support for Ukraine in the face of geopolitical challenges.