Saturday, 31 July, 2021


New Zealand investigating stock market cyber attacks

Cyber attack crashes New Zealand stock exchange for fourth day in a row Cyber attack halts New Zealand stocks for 3rd day
Conrad Doyle | 30 August, 2020, 08:42

Bourse operator New Zealand's Exchange previously said the stock exchange would reopen following measures implemented to maintain system connectivity. Trading finally began three hours later at 1pm. Security intelligence company Akamai warned earlier this week that extortionists claiming to be the Russian-linked hacking group Fancy Bear have recently been sending ransom letters to companies in finance, travel and e-commerce in the Asia Pacific, U.S. and United Kingdom demanding payments to stop attacks.

The NZX also said it had been working with its network service provider Spark, and national and global cyber security partners, including the Government Communications Security Bureau, to address the cyber-attack issue.

The security bureau declined to comment.

The disruptions have frustrated investors who were unable to trade amid a busy company earnings season.

On Tuesday, the NZX website was hit by the similar cyber attack which forced it to halt trading.

The NZX confirmed that the NZX Main Board, NZX Debt Market and Fonterra Shareholders' Market resumed trading at 1:00 p.m. Friday afternoon in a memorandum.

"It is pretty disappointing", said Mike Taylor, chief executive officer at Pie Funds Management in Auckland.

NZX and Spark would be working over the weekend to prepare defences to counter continued attacks, he said, but he would not be surprised to see the attacks continue to disrupt its operations next week.

The ZDNet technology website said that cyber attacks had occurred around the world over the past two weeks, but the NZX seemed to be among the worst affected. He added that the National Cyber Security Centre, which is part of the GCSB, is assisting the bourse operator and that the National Security System has been activated to ensure coordination between agencies and support the NZX.

However, Robertson said he was not aware of any ransom demands as reported by the media. "The cyber threat landscape is ever changing so it's important that organizations keep themselves up to date with what is happening and what they can do to protect themselves".

NZX remained tight-lipped about work under way to defeat the cyberattack, or whether it was confident trading in shares and bonds would not be disrupted again when markets open on Monday. It didn't immediately respond to requests for further comment today.

The NZX is pegged at 204 billion New Zealand dollars ($135 billion).

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