November 1, 2005
Computer hackers have shut down the website ACT Chief Minister Jon
Stanhope used to release a draft of the proposed anti-terrorism laws.
Police are investigating the incident.
Mr Stanhope infuriated Prime Minister John Howard and angered Labor
leaders by releasing the initial draft legislation on October 14,
breaking Council of Australian Governments' confidentiality.
Mr Stanhope said at the time he did so in order to get expert advice
on the implications of the bill.
When an attempt was made today to access the website,
http://www.chiefminister.act.gov.au, the user was deferred to another
website, one favoured by computer hackers, with the message: Fatal
Error was here ohh yeahh let's go!
Mr Stanhope said he did not know who was behind the incident but hoped
it was not a deliberate attempt to deny public access of the document.
"Of course, it's no coincidence that this site has been hacked at this
time, but as to who, or why, I don't have a single clue," he said.
"I would like to think it was someone acting outrageously rather than
a deliberate intent to remove public access to the only copy of the
terror bill that is available."
Mr Stanhope said the site and the draft terror bill had been accessed
by thousands of Australians over the the past few weeks.
Another attack by the same person today took down the Federal
Government's National Program for Sustainable Irrigation website.
According to a hacker website, the defacements were done by a hacker
known as "Fatal Error", who claimed 26 attacks in the past two months.
Fatal Error's past efforts included attacks on the West Australian
Government's Seniors Card website and the Caloundra City Council's
mapping service site in Queensland.
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