SecurityBrief New Zealand logo
New Zealand's leading source of cybersecurity and cyber-attack news
Story image

Another cyber attack on NZ businesses - analysis

By Checkpoint, RNZ
Thu 9 Sep 2021

Kiwi bank and ANZ along with New Zealand Post, Inland Revenue and Metservice all experienced blacks-out due to a cyber-attack earlier today.

Cyber attackers took down multiple New Zealand websites and services today in what appears to be a co-ordinated hit.

Kiwi bank and ANZ customers also reported problems with internet banking and being locked out of their accounts.

And the government's computer emergency response team CERT NZ confirmed it's monitoring multiple denial of service attacks

AUT professor of computer science Dave Parry says the attacks are similiar to those that hit businesses this year.

"It's very similar to the attacks that happened previously this year, effectively what's happening is that attackers presumably criminal gangs are effectovely setting up lots of bots as they're called which are computers they are controlling by inserting a virus into them and those are all over the world.

"They are basically hitting these websites with lots of requests, so much so that the websites can't cope with it and then it can't provide service to anybody and effectively what's happening is that the way they do this is they attack you then they ask for ransom money."

Although some people may expect banks to have security measures, Parry says these attacks put banks in a precarious situation.

"The problem is what's happened in this situation is the way you defend against these attacks is you effectively identify that the requests are suspicious somehow... now they will do that but they also don't want to block out legitimate requests.

"So, particularly for banks they're in quite a difficult position because of course people want to have the transactions going on and you don't want to be blocked from doing a transaction because the bank suddenly halfway through your transaction says 'well I'm not sure about your computer anymore maybe I'll block you for a bit.'"

"The banks have got quite a delicate balancing act and quite often in this situation what happens is the banks deliberately reduce the amount of service they are providing over the internet in order to be able to manage it better."

The banks' response doesn't indicate they are failing to do their job but instead that they are being careful to reduce the amount of transactions which are affected, Parry says.

He says criminal groups will be aware that New Zealand has been in lockdown and this could provide added motivation to attack.

"There will certainly be that kind of thing happening, these guys are constantly monitoring for weaknesses in both security and also events that are happening which may persuade people to be more vulnerable.

"Anywhere in lockdown is going to be using the internet more so it's a good time to attack if you're doing that sort of thing."

With many people around the globe working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Parry says cyber-security measures are more likely to slip and this can allow attackers to hijack more computers.

"Truthfully, I think in the COVID-19 world where so many people are working from home security tends to go down... people share computers, use WiFi that's local and they do all sorts of things.

"I think there's probably some sort of effect happening in some of the places where the computers are being hijacked to attack that more of those are happening because of COVID-19 and because more (people) are working from home."

Parry says a lot of cyber-attacks are coming from the US-based computers with gangs orchestrating attacks from overseas to target places like New Zealand.

RNZ logo
This story was originally published on RNZ.co.nz and is republished with permission.
Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Cybersecurity
Blasé attitudes to cybersecurity by business a national risk
The largely unregulated state of cybersecurity in NZ, and consequential ambivalence of most businesses, risk hurting the country's trading prospects.
Story image
HP Inc
Firmware attacks significant threat in age of hybrid work
Changing workforce dynamics are creating new challenges for IT teams around firmware security, according to new research.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Zero trust security adoption rises 27% in just two years
A survey of WAN managers has revealed that multi-factor authentication and single sign-on are the top zero trust features implemented.
Story image
Cloud Security
Palo Alto Networks bolsters cloud native security offerings 
Latest Prisma Cloud platform updates help organisations continuously monitor and secure web applications with maximum flexibility.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Cybersecurity priorities for digital leaders navigating digital transformation
In recent years, Asia-Pacific has especially been a hotspot for cyberattacks, and as we continue into 2022, it’s evident that the problem is becoming more significant.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from CrowdStrike
Scott Jarkoff joins us today to discuss current trends in the cyber threat landscape, and the reporting work CrowdStrike is doing to prevent further cyber harm.
Story image
Internet of Things
Domino's Pizza: A blueprint for secure enterprise IoT deployment
Increasingly, organisations are embracing smart technologies to underpin innovations that can enhance safety and productivity in every part of our lives, from industrial systems, utilities, and building management to various forms of business enablement.
Story image
Microsoft
SMX partnership with Microsoft leads to NTT recognition
SMX has captured the attention of NTT after receiving positive reviews from businesses across Australasia and beyond for its email security.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Aqua Security, CIS create software supply chain security guide
Aqua Securityand the Center for Internet Security have together released the industry’s first formal guidelines for software supply chain security.
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
Zscaler, AWS accelerate onramp to the cloud with zero trust
Zscaler has announced an extension to its relationship with Amazon Web Services, as well as innovations built on Zscaler's Zero Trust architecture.
Story image
Web Development
Whitecliffe fosters careers for the future of tech
Do you want a career in Information Technology, Networking, Web Development, Software Development, or are you looking to upskill?
Story image
API
Industry-first comprehensive risk-based API security enhances protection
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have become a crucial part of operating web and mobile application businesses and are causing significant economic growth in the digital sector.
Story image
Dark web
Cybercrime in Aotearoa: How does New Zealand law define it?
‘Cybercrime’ is a term we hear all the time, but what exactly is it, and how does New Zealand define it in legal terms?
Story image
Collaboration
IT and security team collaboration crucial to data security
Many IT and security decision makers are not collaborating as effectively as possible to address growing cyber threats.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Unknown connections: How safe is public WiFi in Aotearoa?
If it's not your own household WiFi, then who has control of your data and is your connection actually safe?
Story image
Cybersecurity
Palo Alto Networks named Google Cloud technology partner of the year for security
Palo Alto Networks was recognised for helping organisations rapidly transform security operations for future success.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Threat actors ramp up their social engineering attacks
As people get better at identifying potential threats in their inbox, threat actors must evolve their methods. Their new M.O? Social engineering.
Story image
Phishing
Online identity theft is rising in NZ - here’s what to do about it
It may start with a few stolen details online, but it could end with thousands of dollars missing or worse, a reputation down the drain.
Story image
Digital Transformation
What CISOs think about cyber security, visibility and cloud
Seeking to uncover the minds of CISOs and CIOs across Asia Pacific, my company recently asked Frost & Sullivan to take a snapshot of cloud adoption behaviour in the region.
Story image
PagerDuty
Ready for anything with the PagerDuty Operations Cloud
In a world of digital everything, teams face increasing complexity. Ever-growing dependencies across systems and processes put customer and employee experience, not to mention revenue, at risk.
Story image
Secure access service edge / SASE
Cloudflare adds new capabilities to zero trust SASE platform
New features for Cloudflare One include email security protection, data loss prevention tools, cloud access security broker, and private network discovery.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Why is NZ lagging behind the world in cybersecurity?
A recent report by TUANZ has revealed that we are ranked 56th in the world when it comes to cybersecurity - a look into why we're so behind and what needs to be done.
Story image
10 Minute IT Jams
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from Rimini Street
Today we welcome back Daniel Benad, who is the GVP & regional GM for Oceania at Rimini Street.
Story image
Ransomware
Rapid7 report examines use of double extortion ransomware attacks
New insight into how attackers think when carrying out cyber attacks, along with further analysis of the disclosure layer of double extortion ransomware attacks, has come to light.
Story image
Network Security
Netskope announces zero trust network access updates
Customers can now apply zero trust principles across a range of hybrid work security needs, including SaaS, IaaS, private applications, and endpoint devices.
Story image
Cloud
QuSecure partners with DataBridge Sites to showcase platform
QuSecure has partnered with DataBridge Sites to showcase its Quantum-as-a-Service (QaaS) orchestration platform, QuProtect.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - ActiveCampaign, Arcserve, LogRhythm & Qlik
We round up all job appointments from June 17-22, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
DDoS
Flashpoint unveils security offering for school boards
Flashpoint has released its K-12 risk management and security offering to provide school boards and education security practitioners with tools to recognise, prevent and manage cyber and physical threats.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Significant security concerns resulting from open source software ubiquity
"The risk is real, and the industry must work closely together in order to move away from poor open source or software supply chain security practices."
Story image
Trend Micro
5G network projects driven by improving security and privacy
Trend Micro's new study reveals the prospect of improved security and privacy capabilities are the main motivations behind private 5G wireless network projects.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Vulnerable APIs costing businesses billions every year
Large companies are particularly vulnerable to the security risks associated with exposed or unprotected APIs as they accelerate digital transformation.  
Story image
Cloudera
Overcoming hybrid and multi-cloud challenges to drive innovation
Driven by improvements in technology, financial services companies have advanced both internal and external systems and processes, with the likes of digitisation, personalisation and risk management redefining the industry.
Story image
Identity and Access Management
Ping Identity launches corporate venture capital fund
Ping Identity has launched a corporate venture capital fund to foster innovative offerings for the identity security market.
Story image
Manufacturing
Sternum joins NXP, collaborates on IoT security and observability
Sternum has announced it has joined the software partner community of NXP Semiconductors, a manufacturer of and large marketplace for embedded controllers.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Boomi, Limepay, Thales, VMware & Zoom
We round up all job appointments from June 6-16, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
INTERPOL
Hundreds arrested, millions seized in global INTERPOL investigation
A two-month-long investigation by INTERPOL this year involved 76 countries and clamped down on organised crime groups behind telecommunications and social engineering scams.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Ingram Micro launches vendor-backed security program
Ingram Micro has unveiled a new program intended to give resellers the effective offerings their customers need to stay safe in the evolving threat landscape.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Greater API usage raises concerns for protection - report
Radware has released its 2022 State of API Security report, which shows a rise in APIs, with 92% of the organisations surveyed significantly or somewhat increasing their usage.
Story image
SaaS
Varonis strengthens security capabilities for AWS and S3
Varonis has strengthened and expanded its cloud and security capabilities, with a critical aim of improving safety and boosting data visibility in Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3).
Story image
Vendor
Forescout reveals top vulnerabilities impacting OT vendors
Forescout’s Vedere Labs has disclosed OT: ICEFALL, naming 56 vulnerabilities affecting devices from 10 operational technology vendors.
Story image
Compliance
Stock security features inadequate in face of rising risk
"Organisations must proactively find ways of identifying unseen vulnerabilities and should take a diligent, holistic approach to cybersecurity."
Story image
Cybersecurity
The link between cybersecurity, extremist threat and misinformation online in Aotearoa
Long story short, it's often the case that misinformation, threat and extremism link closely to cybersecurity issues and cyber harm.
Story image
Cybersecurity
New survey uncovers critical OT security challenges
While industrial control environments continue to be a target for cyber criminals, there are widespread gaps in industrial security.
Story image
Apple
LastPass announces new capability for iPhones and iPads
LastPass has announced its new save and fill experience, allowing customers to fill in, create and save their credentials directly within the site's form field.