Australian anti-piracy group & 8,000 sites brought down by DDoS

The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) trade group suffered a massive DDoS attack that crippled the copyright group’s website for a few hours.

The attack was part of “Operation Payback” and the hackers also reportedly took down Netregistry, the AFACT’s host, as a side effect. Netregistry is responsible for providing hosting services to approximately 8,000 websites. Some Australian government websites were also affected, with administrators noting website downtime, e-mail timeouts, and admin control access limited.

Australian anti-piracy group & 8,000 sites brought down by DDoS

“A DDoS attack began to take place at approximately 8:30AM AEST, with a group of hackers attacking the firewall by flooding it with connections attempting to take down all servers,” the AFACT group said in a recent statement. “They had achieved success in disabling all access to some of the client facing services behind the firewall.”

The AFACT website was down for 4 hours and 27 minutes — from three separate attacks — according to Panda Security, which has observed DDoS attacks against numerous targets as part of Operation Payback.

The 4chan group is reportedly behind this latest attack as well, with future DDoS attacks expected in the near future.

The RIAA and MPAA recently had their websites attacked by the 4chan group that also targeted the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) and several other high-profile anti-piracy websites. The most significant attack has been against the anti-piracy firm ACS: Law, which had critical e-mail and other information leaked, which could cause irreparable harm to the company.

It’s not uncommon to hear copyright groups suffering hacking attacks — and occasionally have their websites defaced — but these recent attacks that caused downtime for 8,000 unrelated sites are going over the line. ACS: Law is angry about the e-mails being published online, and at least one company official has received harassing phone calls at home.