Tuesday, 9 August 2016

10th August 2016 - Australian census - epic fail

Wednesday 10th August 2016


So…back in Australia it was Census Day yesterday.  The poor dears in the ABS have been gearing up to this for five years.  For the first time, we could fill in our forms on line.  Easy peasy!

Many MANY people got into panic and paranoia re this.  I thought it was all just a bit ridiculous – THEY have all of our information at hand if THEY want it, from our frequent shopper cards, credit cards, Facebook, just about everything we do every day.  I am a great believer in the value of the census – how else can the government plan policies for the future without knowing more or less where and who everybody is??

 But…alack and alas for those of us of a Pollyanna-ish disposition…The system crashed last night…

From ABC News on line

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) says it believes a series of hacking attacks which led to the census website being shut down last night were part of a deliberate attempt to sabotage the national survey.

Key points:

  ABS shut down census website after it was deliberately hacked four times

  Authorities yet to pinpoint the hackers who sabotaged national survey

  ABS assures public personal data safe

Thousands of Australians were prevented from taking part in the census on Tuesday night as the ABS website crashed.

This morning the ABS's David Kalisch said the census website had been attacked by hackers four times and was shut down as a precaution after the fourth attack.

"It was an attack, and we believe from overseas," he said.

When asked if the hacks were a deliberate attempt to sabotage the census, Mr Kalisch replied: "We believe so".

This must have been the very worst day of Mr Kalisch’s life…


(And in the few minutes since I posted this people everywhere are saying...I TOLD YOU SO!!!  All I can say is...bummer...)


  1. Sadly and predictably the cause of the census fail was not malicious hacking by the Chinese or Russians it was that the Government has cut $500m from its budget and employed IBM to do a cut price job on the system and voila! Some of the computers at ABS are 30 years old and the Chief Statistician is in fact a bureaucrat from the Health Department. I don't think the Govt took the census seriously enough.....

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  4. Sorry dear M, I wrote the above comment... computer says no to publishing my name. Chris xx