Bay of Plenty Times

$6m lost to cy­ber at­tacks amid Covid

- Chris Keall Hacking · Infectious Diseases · Crime · Information Security · Health Conditions · New Zealand · Cybercrime

The Gov­ern­ment’s Com­puter Emer­gency Re­sponse Team (Cert NZ) fielded a record 2610 re­ports of cy­ber at­tacks in the Septem­ber quar­ter, which in­cluded the sec­ond lock­down for Auck­lan­ders.

It con­tin­ued a trend of es­ca­lat­ing on­line fraud, phish­ing and ran­somware at­tacks dur­ing the pan­demic.

Re­ported fi­nan­cial loss for the three months to Septem­ber 30 jumped to $6.4 mil­lion from $3.8m in the year-ago quar­ter — but Cert NZ says a lot of of­fend­ing is likely go­ing un­re­ported, ei­ther be­cause vic­tims are too sheep­ish or be­cause they are sim­ply not aware of the ex­is­tence of the rel­a­tively new cy­ber agency.

An old favourite re­turned dur­ing the quar­ter — DDOS, or dis­trib­uted de­nial of ser­vice at­tacks — such as the one that hit the NZX in Au­gust.

And Cert NZ has also seen the emer­gence of a new scam tai­lored to the pan­demic re­mote-work­ing boom: emails pur­port­ing to be Zoom meet­ing in­vites, but con­tain­ing links to ma­li­cious soft­ware that could take over your com­puter.

“We’ve seen a sig­nif­i­cant rise in re­ports of unau­tho­rised ac­cess to or­gan­i­sa­tions’ net­works within the last six months as more . . . peo­ple work re­motely,” Cert NZ re­sponse man­ager Na­dia Youse fsaid.

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