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Hackers Target Autism Websites


23 March 2010 at 4:52 pm
Staff Reporter
Hackers have brought down a number of Not for Profit Autism support websites in Australia in what some fear may be a targeted attack.

Staff Reporter | 23 March 2010 at 4:52 pm


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Hackers Target Autism Websites
23 March 2010 at 4:52 pm

At least four Autism related Not for Profit websites have been hit by hackers in the past 9 days, raising concerns of a targeted attack ahead of Autism month in April.

The website of Autism Spectrum Australia (ASPECT) went down after being attacked by hackers on the morning of Sunday, March 14th.

The password protected intranet of ‘Positive Partnerships’ – a collaborative project of which Autism Spectrum Australia is a leader – was also brought down a few days later.

Last night the website of Drawtism – an event run by a number of Autism support services including Australia Spectrum Australia was also brought down by what appears to be a deliberate hack.

Autism Spectrum Australia’s Communications Manager, Anthony Perl, says their website is a critical tool and the attack couldn’t have come at a worse time – with next month being Autism month.

Perl says he was sceptical when the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday reported the hack appeared part of a coordinated effort aimed at autism websites, however the Drawtism website going down last night has elevated his concern.

He says it appears that all the hackers have attempted to do is to bring the website down and delete all the data files which hold the text for the site.

The attacks on both the Autism Spectrum Australia and Positive Partnerships have been tracked to IP addresses in the United States – however Perl says this does not necessarily mean this is where the attacks originated from.

The Autism Spectrum Australia, Drawtism and Positive Partnerships websites are all built and hosted by different organisations.

Perl says his organisation is losing money through the loss of donation dollars as supporters are not able to access the website. He says it is important people know no financial data was impacted, and credit card details are not stored on the website.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported Autism Victoria’s website also went down.

Autism Aspect have rushed to create a new website on WordPress, a free online publishing tool. You can visit the website here: http://autismmonth.wordpress.com



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