Climate change: New sea-level risk website hit by cyber attack

A New Zealand website allowing Kiwis to check whether their homes are at risk from sea level rises was unavailable for hours on its first day due to a cyber attack.

Timothy Naish, the co-leader of the project, confirmed a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack had targeted the newly-launched website.

"We think we can get back up in an hour or so," said Naish, an earth sciences professor at Victoria University of Wellington. 

"This is sinister and appears to be aimed at climate sites," Prof Naish said on Monday afternoon.

A DDoS attack is an attempt to disrupt internet access, caused typically by the overloading of the target resource. Generally, perpetrators flood the attack victim from many different sources making it impossible to stop quickly.

Newshub has contacted the Government's cybersecurity agency CERT NZ for comment.

The SeaRise website was launched on Monday morning after new climate research revealed on Sunday the places in New Zealand where sea level rise will greatly outpace the global prediction of 30cm by 2060.

On the website, people can find out how their own neighbourhood would be affected by sea-level rises.

Prof Naish earlier told AM many of the sea level rises were inevitable.