Category Archives: Cyber Attack

The Sad State of New Zealand’s Cyber Attack Readiness

The New Zealand Financial Innovation & Technology Association (FinTechNZ), a financial-technology organization has exposed the alarming situation of companies based on New Zealand, only around 6% have a reasonable level of cybersecurity defense infrastructure and readiness in place. Such level is very low considering the number of multinational companies having a local branch office in New Zealand and the eagerness of the government to comply with its internal IT security arrangements for both itself and businesses operating within the country’s territory.

“We need to increase protection against attacks, especially bearing in mind that more than 90 percent of New Zealand companies are small businesses. New Zealand is not exempt from major cyber-attacks which could impinge on the economy and livelihood as a nation. We need to understand the multi-dimensional nature of cyber threats and key issues that government and private sector face,” explained James Brown, FintechNZ’s General Manager.

New Zealand’s NCSC has observed at least 347 cases of cybersecurity breaches and cyber attacks from their latest record dated July 2017 to June 2018, with a majority of which were not perpetrated by professional private hacking groups, but rather hacking groups allegedly funded by rogue states.

“Cyber risks are a borderless challenge and we can always improve on national preparedness in our cyber-attack strategy. We want to ensure the cybersecurity of our national infrastructures, our businesses and people. Cyber-crime is rising and is increasingly being identified as a top threat to New Zealand, as criminals, rogue nations and others in the darknet seek to strike and disrupt at any moment. The tech sector epitomises Kiwi ingenuity and entrepreneurial flair. With exports amounting to nearly $7 billion and total revenue predicted exceeding $10 billion in 2017, the industry is an integral part of the New Zealand economy,” concluded Brown.

Unlike the nuclear arms race during the early cold war to the late ’90s, cyberwarfare is raging for quite a while now between states without the knowledge of an ordinary person. Also known as cyber espionage and digital hijacking, various countries involved with cyber warfare have their own goals in mind, hence very difficult to read why they are doing it against other nations.

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Cyber Attacks Stopped By An Israeli Bomb

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Cyber Attacks Stopped By An Israeli Bomb

Justice, Israel style, the final judgment of Israeli Defense Force (IDF) against cyber attackers was decisive and literally with the “bang”. The highly contested Gaza strip between Israel and Palestinian Hamas has been going on for many decades, but according to the Israeli military intelligence, the later also house an elite hacker unit along with the areas it controls in the strip. An official video of the airstrike against a building that Palestinian hackers occupied was released by IDF on Twitter.

It shows the target building from a top viewing camera, and it suddenly became just a pile of rubble after the airstrike done by Israeli Defence Force. Though it is not yet know how many bodies were dead inside the building, the IDF is very confident that it housed a considerable number of elite hacker team maintained by Palestinian Jihadist.

“At the end of last week, a joint operation by the General Security Service and the IDF thwarted Hamas’ attempt to use the cyber dimension to hit Israeli targets. Following the technical counterterrorism activities, IDF fighter jets attacked a building from which Hamas’s cyber network operated. We thwarted an attempted Hamas cyber offensive against Israeli targets. Following our successful cyber defensive operation, we targeted a building where the Hamas cyber operatives work. HamasCyberHQ.exe has been removed,” explained IDF in Twitter (through Google Translate).

IDF has not revealed details who were the leaders of the elite hacker group, and what particular cybercrime they have committed against Israel to justify the military bombing. A leader of IDF who wishes not to be named has underscored the importance of getting ahead compared to their enemies. He is happy with the Israeli forces were able to stop cyber attacks through the use of physical attacks against the structure occupied by the hacker group.

“Hamas no longer has cyber capabilities after our strike. After dealing with the cyber dimension, the Air Force dealt with it in the physical dimension,” emphasized Brig. Gen. Ronen Manlis.

Aside from the hacker group, IDF’s other target is Hamed Ahmed Abed Khudri, allegedly the person behind the funding behind the illegal transfer of funds from Iran to IDF’s enemies in the Gaza strip. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad was linked to numerous money-laundering activities, as the structure of its organization is cellular, anyone tasked to pin down identities has a hard time due to the structure.

“Transferring Iranian money to Hamas and the PIJ [Palestinian Islamic Jihad] doesn’t make you a businessman. It makes you a terrorist,” added IDF.

“Immediately assessing the level of conflict in such a dynamic situation is impossible. However, military activity working along laws of armed conflict should consider principles of proportionality when using force. The scarce official announcement suggests that the potential cyberattack has been thwarted using technical means. That will make analysts wonder what was the point, and justification grounds for using kinetic force. That said, the view that people involved in cyber activity linked to a conflict need to be aware of such risks to them has been more and more crystallizing over the last years,” said Dr. Lukasz Olejnik, Research Associate for Center for Technology and Global Affairs of Oxford University.

Source: https://thehackernews.com/2019/05/israel-hamas-hacker-airstrikes.html

Related Resources:

Israeli Fintech Firms Targeted by Cardinal RAT Malware

Massive Ransomware Attack On Israeli Websites Foiled

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