Hackers shut down Centrelink’s MyGov website

Huge queues have formed at Centrelink offices around Australia after the MyGov website crashed due to a “denial of service cyber attack”.

Hackers shut down MyGov

Huge queues have formed at Centrelink offices and the government’s myGov website has crashed as people try to access payments to assist in coping with the coronavirus pandemic.

The government claims that the MyGov website crashed due to a “denial of service cyber attack”.

A “denial of service attack” is where hackers flood a website with users, so that the site becomes overloaded, according to an ABC news report

.

“It's the type of attack that was used to bring down the Census website in 2016,” the report said.

Demand for Centrelink and MyGov services soared after the prime minister detailed a second wave of stimulus measures in a $66 billion package on Sunday. 

Long lines had formed outside Centrelink offices as people queued to access the coronavirus payments – despite the social distancing guidelines.

“MyGov is currently unavailable,” read a message on the site. “We apologise for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience.”

On Sunday, Mr Morrison outlined a range of additional welfare payments.

A cash handout of $750 to 6.5 million pensioners and people on welfare was announced 10 days ago. This will now be supplemented by an extra $750 that will go to around five million people, including pensioners, veterans and Health Care Card holders.

The first payment is to be made on 31 March and the second payment would be made automatically from 13 July.

Government Services Minister Stuart Robert acknowledged the "unprecedented demand" on the MyGov website and said Australians needed to be patient.

“Try logging on later today or even tomorrow,” he said. “MyGov is working, but the best option right now is for people to be patient."

He said current Centrelink customers did not need to do anything to receive the Economic Support Payment or the coronavirus supplement.

“These will be paid automatically to you if you are on an eligible payment,” he said. “Please do not call or visit Centrelink unless you have urgent business.”

Mr Morrison said that Services Australia, which runs Centrelink, would recruit up to 5000 extra staff members to handle the surge in demand.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese says the government must quickly clarify which sectors are eligible for the new payments.

“I watched that media conference last night [Sunday] and I thought it was as clear as mud," he told ABC Radio.

Are you clear on what stimulus package measures you can expect? And when?

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    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    Colinus
    23rd Mar 2020
    4:06pm
    Mr Morrison's address last night was very concise, very clear and very reassuring (well as best it could be). I don't understand how anyone , including Mr Albanese, could be having trouble understanding it.
    AutumnOz
    23rd Mar 2020
    4:12pm
    I was unaware the second stimulous package needed to be applied for - especially the pensioners listed in the package.
    Anonymous
    23rd Mar 2020
    4:13pm
    I do as I am having terrible trouble understanding any of it. Makes no sense at all to me to give money for people to stay home whereas the workers get nothing.
    Paddington
    23rd Mar 2020
    5:15pm
    Well, Retiring Well, they have lost their income so they cannot go to work. Jobs will be lost. If you are a sole trader like a massage person or a mobile hairdresser or an entertainer your income has gone. If you still have a job such as a government worker then you will continue to be paid. Because you are home does not mean you have no needs such as food and rent, etc.
    The Thinker
    23rd Mar 2020
    7:07pm
    Colinus, he was clear and concise. I liked his offer to double the amount for the New Start Allowance for the unemployed.

    Many people that have lost their jobs have never been on welfare. I don't think the Centrelink website was hacked. It crashed because it hasn't been designed for such an overloaded system. Our Governments have always been short-sighted.
    Sundays
    23rd Mar 2020
    8:29pm
    Retiring Well, 88,000 lost their jobs today with no warning. Thousands more to come, I’m sure they would prefer to be working. Workers are actually still getting paid. The stimulus package while welcome, will still plunge many into Poverty.
    Colinus
    23rd Mar 2020
    9:04pm
    Retiring Well, Our local Italian Cafe employs 35 people, most casuals, all family as far as the owner is concerned. He will do whatever he can not to lose any of them but the only business now is takeaway. The casuals he eventually has to let go will be able to get the $550 per fortnight supplement. It's a good deal.

    23rd Mar 2020
    4:11pm
    Must have been self funded retirees and workers behind it.
    The Thinker
    23rd Mar 2020
    7:10pm
    Retiring Well, I doubt it was hacked because the My Gov website has always had problems with software development glitches.
    eraser
    23rd Mar 2020
    4:38pm
    Not hacked just couldn't handle the volume as usual they have been caught out telling fibs
    Tood
    23rd Mar 2020
    5:03pm
    Still not working now
    Alan
    23rd Mar 2020
    5:26pm
    I suspect you're right eraser. Saying it was hacked instead of just admitting that, once again, they haven't prepared enough for what should have been an expected rush.
    eraser
    23rd Mar 2020
    5:40pm
    they owned up in Parliament Alan why they keep lying about things i don't really understand
    Sundays
    23rd Mar 2020
    8:24pm
    Yes eraser especially at a time when we need credibility
    Mac
    23rd Mar 2020
    4:55pm
    It is totally unsurprising that Centrelink had more prospective customers after the Prime Minister's announcement. I thought that even without this new development that dealing with Centrelink was a very time-consuming, frustrating exercise.
    Tood
    23rd Mar 2020
    5:06pm
    Nothing has changed, these lines of people will be skeletons before they get anything
    TOR888
    23rd Mar 2020
    5:07pm
    This has since to be proven it was an out and out lie from Stuart Roberts..there was no hack the site went into free fall and crashed due to overwhelming demand..tell us the truth LNP..absolutely disgraceful again..
    Lescol
    23rd Mar 2020
    5:16pm
    its as though they're used to never telling the truth. Sort of reminds you of the boy calling wolf eh?
    m52
    23rd Mar 2020
    5:18pm
    Stuart Robert is a practised liar and rorter
    BTM
    23rd Mar 2020
    5:13pm
    The reduction in staffing levels in Centrelink and all other Commonwealth Government Departments is going to play a big part in how all this money gets pushed out the door. I predict chaos with repercussions which will be felt for years.
    Paddington
    23rd Mar 2020
    5:17pm
    They are getting more staff apparently. Some jobs will be created by this crisis whilst other will disappear.
    m52
    23rd Mar 2020
    5:17pm
    Stuart Robert is the last individual to trust on anything. A liar and rorter
    cupoftea
    23rd Mar 2020
    8:13pm
    m52 you are so right
    Mojobomber
    23rd Mar 2020
    5:22pm
    Your link to the Centrelink payments said "So, what do you need to do to ensure you receive your assistance? We explain." I read your article, I don't see anything explanation of what you need to do. Unless its to call back tomorrow because MyGov crashed. Typically, your articles don't deliver.
    stevo
    23rd Mar 2020
    5:50pm
    For what I can see and understand the two (2) payments being made to Old Age Pensioners of $750, are automatically paid; firstly on the 31st of March and the second on or about the 13th of July. I believe it's automatic as long as you are registered with Centrelink as such. I also believe the so-called New Start extra payment falls under the same rule; already registered.
    Colinus
    23rd Mar 2020
    8:48pm
    I am waiting to see what payments I actually end up getting.
    I am currently on Newstart and go over the Age Pension at beginning of May.
    The first lot of $750 is being paid end of March and the extra Newstart doesn't start till end of April. Honestly, whatever I get I will be very grateful for, there are lot of people worse off.
    floss
    23rd Mar 2020
    6:20pm
    The Hill Song Hillbilly strikes again.
    KSS
    24th Mar 2020
    1:01pm
    He doesn't attend Hillsong!
    Suddha
    23rd Mar 2020
    6:43pm
    Has Mr. Albanese ever have anything good or positive to do or say. I would have liked to see him as Prime Minister at this difficult time with his Union comrades telling him what to do. This is a time for everyone to work together not just criticise,
    Placido1
    23rd Mar 2020
    6:47pm
    The opposition has been very constructive and helpful offering CONSTRUCTIVE criticism, he will not stop or slow down government action (even if the government are taking direction from their big business leaders.
    Placido1
    23rd Mar 2020
    6:43pm
    MyGov collapse NOT Hackers, just an insufficient system unable to cope with the load...Minister Roberts has confirmed that.
    Placido1
    23rd Mar 2020
    6:45pm
    Maybe Stuart Roberts was doing a heavy download :)
    Incognito
    23rd Mar 2020
    10:21pm
    What did they expect after telling all these businesses to close without warning and not setting up more staff to handle the influx of people lining up for unemployment benefits? Just as cruel as telling people they will get more money but not yet, and has anyone considered the students on Austudy and Youth Allowance students with many relying on work in the hospitality industry to make ends meet, they are not getting the double payment.Some people waited for 3 hours or more just to get a reference number to then apply. Why tell lies about a cyber crash? Maybe they should of staggered the closures by starting to close them earlier and have it over a week at least.

    24th Mar 2020
    9:47am
    Plenty of advice from the usual leftwing low lifes on this web page.
    On the Ball
    24th Mar 2020
    3:11pm
    Not like THAT hasn't happened before. "Too Little, Too Late" LNP solution.
    "try this. Hopefully that will work"... "Nup. Better try some more"
    Outboard motor on the back of the Titanic trying to avoid an iceberg.
    Close SOME of the boarders. Try that... Stop SOME flights into Australia. Stop SOME cruise ships. Just like the response to the fires. Too Little, Too Late.
    The my.gov.au website is just enough to cope with every day access. Just enough.
    On the Ball
    24th Mar 2020
    3:11pm
    Not like THAT hasn't happened before. "Too Little, Too Late" LNP solution.
    "try this. Hopefully that will work"... "Nup. Better try some more"
    Outboard motor on the back of the Titanic trying to avoid an iceberg.
    Close SOME of the boarders. Try that... Stop SOME flights into Australia. Stop SOME cruise ships. Just like the response to the fires. Too Little, Too Late.
    The my.gov.au website is just enough to cope with every day access. Just enough.
    On the Ball
    24th Mar 2020
    3:11pm
    Not like THAT hasn't happened before. "Too Little, Too Late" LNP solution.
    "try this. Hopefully that will work"... "Nup. Better try some more"
    Outboard motor on the back of the Titanic trying to avoid an iceberg.
    Close SOME of the boarders. Try that... Stop SOME flights into Australia. Stop SOME cruise ships. Just like the response to the fires. Too Little, Too Late.
    The my.gov.au website is just enough to cope with every day access. Just enough.
    ex PS
    26th Mar 2020
    10:02am
    Yes, another example if what happens when governments take the cheapest quote for goods and services and then disregard update and maintenance requirements.
    This government has cast us millions of dollars trying to dave a few cents.
    Alexia
    1st Apr 2020
    3:03pm
    It is April 1st. and I have NOT received the $750 advertised!
    ARE they tryint to retard payments to pensioners? How ungenerous and how inneficient the system is!


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