Russian cyber attacks on NZ expected to increase

New Zealand’s Cybersecurity Centre (NCSC) is also encouraging individuals and businesses to be vigilant.

In a statement to 1News, it said “malicious cyber activity in Aotearoa New Zealand reflects international trends”.

“Alongside heightened tensions, there is an increased potential for cyber attacks. These may have serious impact, even for countries and organisations not directly targeted.”

State-sponsored hacking attempts aren’t unusual for New Zealand. In the 2020-21 year there were 113 attacks on organisations of national significance. The NCSC says they were from suspected state-sponsored actors.

Internet security expert Robert Potter says New Zealand shouldn’t underestimate the threat.

“It’s still this idea that ransomware and attacks are rare, and they’re lightning bolts that randomly come from the sky and you can’t do anything about it.”

Potter said the attacks could affect the websites you visit, remote working systems, and could even target infrastructure like the power grid.

He said there are some basic steps people can take.

“Having complex passwords, don’t click (suspicious) links, and keeping your systems up to date will protect you from 90 percent of cyber attacks.”