Politics

Government Minister Says “My Bad” After Incorrectly Blaming Hackers For MyGov Crash

"I didn’t think I’d have to prepare for 100,000 concurrent users."

stuart robert

The minister who tried to blame hackers for causing the MyGov website to crash yesterday has offered an extremely halfhearted apology: “my bad”.

Yesterday Government Services Minister Stuart Robert incorrectly told media the MyGov website had been targeted by a DDoS attack, where hackers flood a website with  traffic until it’s overwhelmed and shuts down.

In reality, it wasn’t hackers — the traffic came from tens of thousands of desperate Australians who suddenly found themselves without a job due to the coronavirus shutdown.

This morning Robert — the man also responsible for the government’s chaotic robodebt scheme — told Alan Jones on 2GB radio “my bad” for being so woefully unprepared.

“I didn’t think I’d have to prepare for 100,000 concurrent users,” he admitted.

“My bad not realising the sheer scale of the decision on Sunday night by national leaders that literally saw hundreds and hundreds of thousands, maybe a million people, unemployed overnight.”

Robert said usually the website has about 6,000 concurrent users but they had prepared their servers for a spike of 55,000.

Instead, they got almost double that.

At a press conference yesterday Robert blamed the outage on a DDoS attack, but less than two hours later he was forced to admit there was no evidence of that.

“I probably should have waited for the investigation before jumping the gun,” he said.

This morning The Sydney Morning Herald reported that forecasters are bracing for a 15% unemployment rate as a result of the coronavirus pandemic — that would mean more than two million Australians would be out of work.

Last month Australia’s unemployment rate was 5.1%.

Despite yesterday’s debacle, Robert is encouraging people to access the website instead of going to Centrelink in person.

Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said this morning the website has been upgraded to handle 150,000 users.