New Zealand Central Bank Reports Illegal Data System Breach

The New Zealand central bank reported in a statement on Jan. 10 that an unidentified hacker has illegally breached one of its data systems.

The New Zealand central bank reported in a statement on Jan. 10 that an unidentified hacker has illegally breached one of its data systems.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) said that the hacker illegally accessed a third-party file sharing service that the Wellington-based bank uses to share and store sensitive information.

“The nature and extent of information that has been potentially accessed is still being determined, but it may include some commercially and personally sensitive information,” Governor Adrian Orr said in the statement.

Orr also said that the breach has been contained and that the core functions of the bank’s system “remain sound and operational.”

“The system has been secured and taken offline until we have completed our initial investigations,” Orr said.

“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 also said, adding that the full implications of the cyberattack will “take time to understand.”

The bank did not indicate who was responsible for the breach and also did not made clear when it took place.

The breach on the bank is the most recent cyberattack in New Zealand where several major organizations have been hit last year.

According to the latest report by the Computer Emergency Response Team of the New Zealand government, cyberattacks in the country increased by 33% in the third quarter of 2020 with 2,610 reported incidents from individuals and businesses.

RBNZ stated in a November 2019 Financial Stability Report that “the expected annual cost of cyber incidents for the banking and insurance industry at about $140 million, while potential losses could be as high as $2 billion.”


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