Cyber Attacks: New Zealand’s Stock Exchange Finally Reopens


The financial markets of New Zealand have finally resumed its trading after the consecutive four days of cyber attacks caused by the cybercriminals leading to sudden disruption. The trading has resumed again at 1 pm of local time Friday that is 9 pm ET, Thursday. The New Zealand’s Exchange (NZX) had initially thought that they could resume earlier, but there was another halt in the morning trade due to the cyber attacks

The exchange (NZX) has said that it has halted the trading of the stock at around 4 pm local time that is 12 am ET, on Tuesday following a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) cyber attack from the outside of the country. This was followed by more cyber attacks on Wednesday and Thursday while the NZX has ceased trading in debt and equity markets for the maximum of each day during the investigation of the issue. The derivatives market had also been closed from 4 pm on Thursday.

The DDoS cyber attacks focus on to disrupt the services by flooding a network with vast volumes of internet traffic. An extensive DDoS attack back in the year 2016 had caused the outages for some of the users on social media and entertainment services like Netflix and Twitter. The main motive behind the cyber attacks on New Zealand’s stock market NZX is still turbid while the company has declined to comment on whether the cyber attackers had demanded ransom.

“We do not comment publicly on our specific cyber security arrangements or how we are responding to specific threats,” it said. “NZX is continuing to work with its network provider to investigate the source of the issue.”

When the company had been asked again to comment on the situation before the trade resume, the exchange refused to respond immediately.

Image: Magzter

These type of cyber attacks are becoming much more common and widespread as the cybercriminals are capitalizing on the growth in the public clouds and are selling their services at a cheaper rate on the dark web. The DDoS attacks have surged 542% during the first quarter of this year as compared to the last three months of 2019, as stated by Nexusguard, a cybersecurity company.

“One reason why DDoS attacks are so inexpensive is that more and more people that offer DDoS-for-hire services are leveraging the scale and bandwidth of public clouds,” said Juta Gurinaviciute, chief technology officer at NordVPN Teams, the cloud-based network provider.

With due time, the cyber attacks have also transformed into a more sophisticated one, as stated by a research engineer at the cybersecurity company Tenable, named Satnam Narang. Since the financial organizations depend more on the connected devices, the so-termed Internet of Things (IoT) the cybercriminals can target the vulnerable devices for launching stronger DDoS attacks, he mentioned.

Source: Fox40

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