back to article IBM Australia again blames ISPs for #censusfail, is also 'unreservedly' sorry

IBM has tried to explain why trivially-small denial-of-service attacks took out the systems it provided for Australia's Census, causing a 40-hour outage. An Australian Senate Committee is investigating the collapse of the $AU10 million IBM-provided Census systems and networks in the face of attacks ranging from 210 Mbps to 3 …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No one sacked/disciplined... no mention of those forced to resign...

    Technically no one was sacked but they were made to put in their resignations effective immediately...

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: No one sacked/disciplined... no mention of those forced to resign...

      If the Aussie government is like the US, no one has resigned either. Possible promotions at some point such that they will be put into an ineffective position.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We are really really sorry but thanks for the AU$30 Millions, btw it wasn't us blame the internet

  3. Knoydart

    Budget blowout?

    So the IBM take home was $9.7M for the contract from 2014 - today. Where does the $30M blow out come from? Telstra network charges, buying CVC bandwidth from NBN co or extra consultants at the ASD?? $30M for a blow out that didn't even leak any data seems pretty steep.

    1. Oengus

      Re: Budget blowout?

      Reports in the media this week say that temporary staff who were used to deliver paper census forms after the Website debacle are complaining that they haven't been paid. The amount owing is estimated to be $30 million. Maybe that is the budget blowout...

      1. Knoydart

        Re: Budget blowout?

        Thanks for the info. Must be an interesting conversation going on between the head of IBM ANZ and the head of the Treasury on who's paying that $30M.

        1. Knoydart

          Re: Budget blowout?

          Another point that I hadn't picked up on until the IBM submission was that they had a 40 hour outage at the request of the ABS. Admittedly they had 4 odd hours of downtime but the next 40 was not of their doing. Guessing that the ABS were too nervous to fire the IBM system back up again and went back to paper based system (and the $30M bill).

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    $30 million

    That will be the civil servants expense bill, to cover "meetings"!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    3Gbps - Really?!?

    Seems seriously paltry for a DDoS attack. Does anyone have any data on the number of connection per second or number of open connection? I can't see how 3Gbps in isolation could kill a carrier grade router or bring down a decently designed survey site.

    1. Adam 1

      Re: 3Gbps - Really?!?

      > bring down a decently designed survey site

      I think you just answered your own question there. Their ddos mitigation plan was to block overseas traffic, which they self evidently didn't test sufficiently. But even if they did get that part right, that is a rather blunt sledgehammer which is going to both impact legitimate users (on VPNs, tor and possibly even those using overseas DNS servers) and is useless once the attackers figure it out as they will just switch to a botnet built from compromised Australian addresses or attack other infrastructure like Telstra/optus/tpg/iinet DNS servers.

    2. Aus Tech

      Re: 3Gbps - Really?!?

      That is because there wasn't a DDOS attack. IBM and the Federal government are still using that excuse so that they can cover their collective asses. The real answer is that there was poor planning of how people would be using the census site, and so only "average" values were used, and people were told to get online on :census night" to record the information requested, which resulted in a flood of households all trying to get their information recorded. If you take an extreme view of what happened, you could call it a DDOS, but it was caused by poor planning by the government and IBM, mostly the government.

  6. David Roberts Silver badge

    210 Mbps?


    That's slightly more than the capacity of my home Virgin Media broadband connection.

    Scary stuff!

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