The Optus network was in disarray yesterday following cyber attacks from China, which affected a number of its customers including Australia’s national news agency, AAP.
Optus said that, about 1.10pm yesterday, one of its corporate customers was hit with a “denial of service attack”, which originated in China. It would not say which customer had been targeted, but The Australian reported that the target was a multinational financial services company.
“The attack caused congestion on one of Optus’s international links leading to slow internet and delayed email for some Optus corporate customers,” an Optus spokeswoman said.
The publishers AAP, IDG and News Ltd are known to have been among the affected corporate customers.
Other Optus customers include the Australian Stock Exchange and several banks, with the telco claiming to handle 70 per cent of EFTPOS requests. However, it is not clear if these were affected.
Optus said the issue was resolved about 3.25pm by blocking the source of the attack. It said only corporate customers, not regular consumers, were affected.
Hinch, who is one of four working on IT security in Australia for News Limited was at a media briefing held by security company Websense in Sydney today, where he revealed the media giant had been hit by numerous DDoS attacks. The attacks often came together with emailed notices demanding the retraction of articles
Many of the attacks originated “especially” from the Chinese Government, according to Hinch, and they occurred when something written by one of News Limited’s journalists “hit a raw nerve” and wasn’t in favour of the attacker’s view.