New Zealand Stock Exchange Hit By A Second Cyber-Attack

DDoS Attack Has Been Made From Offshore Via Network Providing Service

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The New Zealand stock exchange has been under cyber-attack for the last two days in a row. The first attack on Tuesday has been by a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack from outside the country, which has been confirmed by the NZX. According to the New Zealand stock exchange, the attack has an impact on the NZX network connectivity, due to which they decided to halt any and all trading in the cash markets before the 4:00 pm local time.

It was being suggested that this attack on the New Zealand stock exchange has been mitigated, and the trade market would resume its normal functions of Wednesday, but this subsequent attack on Wednesday has raised multiple questions regarding the security of New Zealand stock exchange. On the next day, the trading also halted briefly for a second time, but it was successfully able to get back up and running before the trading ends for the day.

Cyber-attack on the stock exchange

The type of cyber attack on the New Zealand stock exchange was a DDoS attack, which is one of the simpler types of cyber-attack. In this type of hacking, a large number of computers that are connected to the same online service are overwhelmed at the same time, which submerges its capacity to function properly.

The DDoS attackers often use technical devices that are already compromised with malware software, due to which the owners of those devices don’t know that they are also a part of the cyber-attack. Numerous genuine traders might undergo this sort of issue while doing their businesses. But this hack does not leak any sort of personal or financial information to the cyber-attacker.

According to the NZX, the attack over at the New Zealand stock exchange had been from an offshore computer via their local network service provider. Another attack on Wednesday has also stopped trading for a long duration during the working hours between 11:24 to 15:00 local time. Even though the New Zealand Stock exchange has suffered from extensive interruption between the trading hours for two consecutive days, the exchange was up at the time of closure of business, which was near its all-time high record.

This incident over at the New Zealand stock exchange follows multiple other alleged cyber-attacks by several foreign actors, which are targeting a range of private and governmental sector organizations in Australia.

Threatening of hacking financial firms

According to the cyber-security organization of New Zealand, the CertNZ issued a warning in the month of November that multiple emails are being some by anonymous organizations to several financial firms, to pay a high amount in ransom while threatening them of DDoS attack. Those emails were later claimed by a Russian hacking group with the name of Fancy Bear. But it was confirmed that at the time of those emails, no threat was carried out by the Russian hacking group, except a 30-minute attack, which was labeled as a scare tactic by the organization.

According to the Auckland University’s computer science department, the attack over at the New Zealand stock exchange has been a very serious attack over the country’s critical infrastructure amid the coronavirus pandemic. He also alerted that this attack shows a very rare level of determination and sophistication, along with flagging several security issues that are caused by the people working from their home during the coronavirus lockdown.

For a DDoS attack at any firm, the software and skill set are widely available across the world, and due to the coronavirus pandemic, most of the working staff are doing their jobs with their personal devices which might be compromised and reduced the security of the New Zealand stock exchange which resulted in this cyber-attack.

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