Many denial-of-service (DoS) attacks emanate from Eastern Europe - and the perpetrators who unleash an army of bots to overwhelm a site with repeated requests to connect are never found.
But a DoS attack that took place in Australia in November last year appears to be homegrown, and the alleged hackers have been arrested.
A 28-year-old man will appear in a court in Bendigo north of Melbourne today to face charges related to a DoS attack that tied up Victoria Police phone systems and other targetted other government infrastructure.
Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Victoria Police allege a large volume of automated attacks occurred, and involved cold-calling numbers with the intention of tying up police phone lines, interrupting incoming or outgoing calls.
They have refused to say what other infrastructure was targetted or to comment on the motivation behind the attacks.
The 28-year-old alleged organiser of the attacks was arrested during a police raid at Bendigo on Friday and taken into custody.
He faces charges of sabotage, unauthorised access to computer data, and dishonestly obtaining or dealing with personal financial information - that could see him face up to 25 years in prison if ultimately convicted.
A 27-year-old was arrested in the same raid and charged with three firearms offences. He was granted bail and will appear in court in August.
Neither man has been named.
AFP acting Commander Cybercrime Operations, Chris Goldsmid said the seriousness of the alleged offending cannot be overstated.
"Each occasion a police phone line was unavailable as a result of these malicious attacks meant members of the public were unable to access a vital service. This had serious implications for the broader community," Acting Commander Goldsmid said.
"Some of the attacks included a spate of text messages asking for emergency assistance. People who called the number back reported being verbally abused by a recording on the other end. This created fear, distress and anxiety amongst some of the most vulnerable in our community."