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4 months after stock market breach, New Zealand central bank data system hacked (AP)
4 months after stock market breach, New Zealand central bank data system hacked (AP)

4 months after stock market breach, New Zealand central bank data system hacked

  • The Central bank said that its third-party file sharing service used to share and store some sensitive information has been breached
  • Experts suggest another government was likely behind the bank data breach. Last year, NZX cyberattack halted trading for four consecutive days

The Central bank of New Zealand said Sunday that its third-party file sharing service used to share and store some sensitive information has been breached by an unidentified hacker and a probe is on.

The breach comes about four months after cyberattacks forced New Zealand's stock exchange to halt trading for four straight days.

Governor Adrian Orr said in a statement Sunday, while the breach has been contained, the nature and extent of the information that potentially had been accessed is being determined and may have included some commercially and personally sensitive data

However, the Governor assured the bank’s core functions “remain sound and operational."

“We are working closely with domestic and international cybersecurity experts and other relevant authorities as part of our investigation and response to this malicious attack," Orr further said.

The system had been secured and taken offline until the bank completes its initial investigations.

“It will take time to understand the full implications of this breach and we are working with system users whose information may have been accessed," Orr said.

The back-to-back attack on the financial system raised security concerns in the country.

The NXZ breach

In a similar attack on the New Zealand Stock Exchange, which happened in August last year, trading was halted for four consecutive days.

NZX statement later revealed the stock exchange was the target of distributed-denial-of-service attacks that overwhelmed its website and forced trading halts. New Zealand called in its spy agency and activated security crisis plans to help defend the stock exchange after the attacks persisted for four days.

Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks involve disrupting computer networks by flooding them with traffic.

Speaking about the Reserve Bank data hack, Dave Parry, professor of computer science at Auckland University, told Radio New Zealand that another government was likely behind the bank data breach.

“Ultimately if you were coming from a sort of like criminal perspective, the government agencies aren’t going to pay your ransom or whatever, so you’d be more interested probably coming in from a government-to-government level," Parry said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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