Was it the Russians?

There has been an uptick in cyberattacks against New Zealand.

New Zealand has seen a sharp upswing in the number of cyber attacks and more than a third seem to be state-sponsored acts.

There were 396 incidents recorded by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) in the year to June 30, but this represented only a small proportion of the amount of cyber crime happening within New Zealand, it said in a report released on Thursday.

The centre, which is a unit within external spy agency the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), primarily focused on nationally significant organisations or cyber threats that had the potential to have high consequences.

One of those attacks involved a New Zealand company that was unwittingly used to perform a “significant cyber operation” against a foreign organisation.

“The NCSC, along with the New Zealand Police investigated the compromise and identified a malicious remote access tool on a server in the [organisation’s] network,” the report said.

It was deemed an opportunistic attack on the New Zealand organisation, rather than it being specifically targeted. But the GCSB has attributed the compromise to a foreign intelligence agency.

In the past financial year, 211 attacks were recording on public sector entities, and 146 in the private sector. There were 91 attacks recorded as “other”.

The total number represents an increase of 58 more nationally significant cyber attacks than the previous year, and 122 of the incidents involved “indicators that have previously been linked to state-sponsored actors”.

Advanced cyber threats had the potential to cause $640m harm annually to New Zealand significant organisations. The operation of the controversial Cortex system and other cyber defence capabilities reduced harm by $39.47m in the 2016-17 year, the report said.

It will get worse before it will get better. I wonder if it was the Russians?




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