Just let week-long DDoS attack ‘fizzle out’, says NZ government

Authorities haven’t identified the perpetrators of rolling DDoS attacks that took down the NZX stock exchange and crippled other firms.

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New Zealand authorities have been scrambling to get ahead of a cyber criminal gang responsible for an ongoing series of cyber attacks that has crippled targets in the country for more than a week, including the New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX).

But they have not found the perpetrators, according to published reports. As a result of the attack, the New Zealand government has suggested that organisations determine what level of outage they can accept and plan accordingly. In the end, “you just have to withstand it and let it fizzle out”, said Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) Minister Andrew Little.

NZX, as well as a range of banks, media and other interests, have been hit by a rolling series of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks that have interrupted services and forced the New Zealand stock exchange to suspend trading.

Trading on the NZX Main Board, NZX Debt Market and Fonterra Shareholders’ Market was suspended but had resumed several days later after had resumed after special intervention from financial regulators, with reports that NZX had engaged Akamai’s DDoS-protection services even as financial institutions such as the Bank of New Zealand and ANZ Bank moved to high alert.

The campaign of interruptions drove the companies to bring in the help of New Zealand’s signals-intelligence body, the GCSB, whose National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) issued a formal advisory to the financial-services sector.

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