Inadvertent victims of “politically motivated” hack.
A politically motivated DDoS attack on a US-based web hosting service has delivered global repercussions affecting a number of Australian websites including the homepages of the Australian Labor Party and the Bob Brown Foundation.
Both organisations use the services of NationBuilder, a cloud-based web hosting and customer relationship management platform designed specifically for nonprofits, political parties and politicians.
The ALP.org.au website was down for a few hours yesterday morning, its Canberra HQ confirmed. The Bob Brown Foundation site was also down yesterday and then again last night, said organiser Steven Chaffer, who had been contacted by a NationBuilder account rrepresentative.
The state branches of the Labor Party also use NationBuilder, as does Victorian independent MP Cathy McGowan and the community services union United Voice.
United Voice said it was not aware of any disturbance to its web presence.
Yesterday NationBuilder was hit by a DDoS attack it believes to have been in protest against the political stance of one of its clients.
“We are reasonably certain the attack is directed at one of our customers for their political beliefs, and is meant to disrupt upcoming elections,” wrote CEO Jim Gilliam on the NationBuilder website early this morning Australian time.
He said the attack has caused “intermittent service outages” for the company’s clients but assured users that data and financial information was never exposed.
“We know the impact is immeasurable and we are very, very sorry,” he said.
“We are fiercely committed to serving all of our customers. Everyone has the right to organise – in fact, this is the very reason NationBuilder exists.”
NationBuilder has not responded to iTnews’ requests to confirm the identity of the targeted client.
However posts on the Anonymous hackers forum and from the self-professed antagonist on Twitter claim that the attack is targeting the British political party UKIP, which is taking its anti-immigration policy platform to elections for the UK membership of the European Union next week.
The party’s leader Nigel Farage has been a controversial figure, branded as a racist by the UK Labor party.
UKIP has been the subject of DDoS attacks before, and its website was one of many down intermittently yesterday and into today.
Australian clients told iTnews that their services have now resumed.