CERT NZ’s first threat report: 364 incidents, $700k losses

The national Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT NZ) has released its first report on the New Zealand cyber security threat landscape

The national Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT NZ) has released its first report on the New Zealand cyber security threat landscape saying it has received 364 reports of cyber security incidents with financial losses for the period totalling more than $700,000 in less than three months from the start of its operation on 11 April to 30 June.

CERT NZ was created with funding of $22.6m in the 2016 Budget, creating the first central place for New Zealanders to report all types of cyber security issues.

CERT NZ said its role as a coordinating agency for cyber security issues would help build an understanding of the way New Zealanders are affected by cyber attacks.

“The reports received so far create a baseline dataset that will be used to build CERT NZ’s understanding of the cybersecurity threats that affect New Zealanders from all walks of life.

The report said CERT NZ had noticed a big increase in the volume of reports from 15 to 17 May following the WannaCry ransomware event that occurred on 13 and 14 May, followed by a dip.

“In the two weeks following WannaCry no ransomware reports were received. This may be the result of ‘reporting fatigue’ of ransomware issues, or, it may indicate that heightened public awareness of the ransomware threat resulted in fewer infections,” it said. “We will continue to report on and analyse these kinds of trends to identify their root causes.”

While WannaCry and NotPetya, which followed shortly afterwards, received considerable coverage the report noted another ransomware, Cerber that it said had not received significant media attention in New Zealand. CERT NZ received five reports of Cerber affecting businesses and causing them significant harm or loss.

It is encouraging all New Zealanders affected by cyber security issues to report them either via http://www.cert.govt.nz or by calling 0800 CERT NZ.  

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