The Reserve Bank of New Zealand said Sunday (Jan. 10) that it has been hacked — and that potentially sensitive personal and commercial information may have been involved.
The hackers breached security at “a third-party file-sharing service,” the central bank stated in a news release.
Bank Gov. Adrian Orr said in a prepared statement: “We are working closely with domestic and international cyber security experts and other relevant authorities as part of our investigation and response to this malicious attack. 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.”
Orr added: “The system has been secured and taken offline until we have completed our initial investigations. It will take time to understand the full implications of this breach, and we are working with system users whose information may have been accessed. Our core functions remain sound and operational.”
A representative of the bank declined to answer questions about the hack, according to the Associated Press (AP). Among unanswered questions are when the attack occurred and from what geography its perpetrators were operating.
The New Zealand Stock Exchange and other important organizations in the country have been targeted by hackers over the past year, the AP reported.
The latest breach likely was the work of a nation-state, rather than a criminal ring, Auckland University computer science professor Dave Parry told Radio New Zealand, according to the AP.
“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,” he reportedly said.