The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) announced Sunday, January 10, 2021, that it had suffered from a data breach from one of its systems. According to the NZ Herald, the hacking stemmed from a third-party file sharing service provider being accessed by an unidentified hacker.
Some of the information accessed by the threat actor reportedly included sensitive data that pertained to both personal and commercial information, remarked the Wellington-based bank in a statement Sunday.
The hacking incident of RBNZ comes a year after various institutions and organizations in New Zealand have been targeted for cyber hacking incidents.
Based on the report released by the Associated Press, these include high-profile companies such as the New Zealand Stock Exchange which suffered from a major systems blackout, leading the company to shut down its servers for almost a week in August of 2020.
Bloomberg revealed that the New Zealand Stock Exchange leveraged the help of its spy agency as well as enacting some of its emergency security plans to save the agency from further attacks.
While bank Governor Adrian Orr said the data breach had already been contained, RBNZ is still responding to the incident with urgency and with the utmost priority. Despite this, the bank maintains that they have yet to determine the full extent and the implications of the breach.
In a statement, Orr said, “The nature and extent of information that has been potentially accessed are still being determined, but it may include some commercially and personally sensitive information.”
Following this, the financial institution states that it is business as usual and the bank “remain[s] sound and operational.” Moreover, the bank assured the public that it is working closely with the authorities on both a local and international level as part of their immediate response and investigation, states Reuters.
Part of the measures taken by the institution is taking the system offline and being secured until the initial investigations have been completed.
At the same time, Governor Orr acknowledged that they are already in the works in contacting and reaching out to “system users whose information may have been accessed.”
In Associated Press’ interview with a computer science professor from Auckland University, Dave Parry, the news site found that the attack on the financial institution was most likely another government.
Parry said, “Ultimately, if you were coming from a sort of like criminal perspective, the government agencies aren’t going to pay your ransom or whatever, so you’d be more interested probably coming in from a government-to-government level.”
The reserve bank has declined further questions regarding the data breach while the investigation is still ongoing.