NZ Post predicts outage, ANZ faces continued disruption amid cyberattacks

NZ Post will take down all of its major computer systems on Thursday evening for work that appears to be linked to a series of denial of service attacks against New Zealand businesses.

The company said customers would not be able to book courier pickups, print mailing labels, track items or verify and validate addresses during the 90-minute “scheduled outage” that begins. 19 hours.

There was a chance that the outage would be longer than expected.

NZ Post said the work was needed due to “some issues at one of our third-party IT vendors” that caused intermittent disruption to its website on Wednesday.

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A spokeswoman declined to comment on whether the issues were related to denial of service which appears to have caused various issues on Wednesday and Thursday, including for ANZ.

“We are taking additional measures tonight as a precautionary measure to improve the stability of our services,” she said.

ANZ customers on Thursday encountered new problems accessing online banking services, amid signs that a denial of service attack on the bank had resumed.

More than 650 customers reported problems accessing online banking for a 15-minute period around 9:30 a.m. when the problems appeared to reach a second peak.

As of Wednesday morning, the number of complaints recorded by the website monitoring service Down Detector peaked at over 1,000 in 15 minutes.

A wider range of organizations, including Kiwibank, appeared to be affected by Wednesday’s attacks.

NZ Post now offers courier bags made from plastic diverted from landfills and produced in Hamilton using green energy.

New Zealand Post / Supplied

NZ Post now offers courier bags made from plastic diverted from landfills and produced in Hamilton using green energy.

A spokesperson for cybersecurity agency Cert NZ said he was “aware that disruptions to some online services continue today.”

“We can reassure people that we are working very hard with those affected and our industry partners to understand and monitor the situation and support recovery efforts. No other organization has reported attacks to us today, ”he said.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks involve cybercriminals overloading and blocking an organization’s online services by bombarding their internet systems with large amounts of traffic.

Because they do not involve hacking into an organization’s computer systems, there is no risk that bank customers will lose money or have information stolen by this type of attack.

Tackling DDoS attacks can often be a cat-and-mouse game as victims seek to block the deluge of traffic directed to their computer servers and attackers change tactics.

The post greeting some ANZ customers when they tried to access internet banking on Thursday.

Tom Pullar-Strecker / Tips

The post greeting some ANZ customers when they tried to access internet banking on Thursday.

Customers contacted Thing Thursday morning, fearing that they would not be able to access their ANZ accounts.

“I was able to access my banking services at 7 am,” wrote one.

“I tried to reconnect at 7:45 am only to be told that there had been an unexpected error while trying to connect and launched the app. For the second consecutive day.

Customers were asked to try again later if they had any issues.

Getty Images

Customers were asked to try again later if they had any issues.

Another said they had no luck logging in on their phone or computer in the early afternoon.

Spokesman Stefan Herrick was aware of some of the issues.

“Some customers are having trouble accessing online banking and ANZ goMoney,” he said.

“If customers have trouble passing, we ask them to try again later. Our support teams continue to work hard to improve access. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused and thank customers for their patience. “

Digital Economy Minister David Clark said on Wednesday cybersecurity agency Cert NZ told him a number of organizations had experienced disruptions to their online services.

“The efforts to determine the impact of this incident are underway. I will not preempt this process,” he said Wednesday afternoon.

What are DDoS attacks?

Often described simply as denial of service attacks, DDoS attacks are carried out by cybercriminals who hire or hijack large numbers of computers infected with malware.

They use them to bombard an organization’s online services with huge amounts of traffic, such as connection requests, overloading them so that they cannot process genuine requests and appear to be offline. .

Large organizations typically defend themselves against DDoS attacks by using technological tools to identify and shut down the sources of parasitic traffic bombarding their services, which can come from networks of computers infected with malware that could be located anywhere in the world. the world.

Attackers often route their malicious traffic through misconfigured web servers owned by legitimate organizations, in order to disguise the true source of their attacks.

Sometimes attacks stop, to be redirected or restarted from a different source, which can make the task of stopping denial of service attacks a cat-and-mouse game.

Typically, attackers demand ransoms to stop their attacks, although it is believed that these are rarely paid.

Past DDoS attacks

DDoS attacks have been around for decades.

Forwards and defenders have become better at their games.

But the increasing availability of fiber to the home means that compromised computers that are typically used to carry out attacks can be more powerful because they can send more malicious traffic.

September 2021: A customer of New Zealand’s third largest Internet service provider, Vocus, has suffered a denial of service attack. Vocus’ attempts to help it defend the attack went awry, resulting in outages for its Internet, Slingshot, Orcon and Stuff Fiber brands and its wholesale client Sky Broadband.

September 2020: The NZX has suffered a series of large-scale DDoS attacks that have taken its website offline. Since the NZX website is used to serve price sensitive market announcements, the NZX made the decision to also suspend stock trading during the initial attacks, ahead of a policy change.

2012: Activists associated with the hacking group Anonymous have expressed outrage over the arrest of Kim Dotcom in New Zealand by temporarily blocking access to the websites of the FBI and the United States Department of Justice, as well as the Universal Music Group recording label.

Many DDoS attacks in the past were associated with such civil disobedience, although now the motive is usually blackmail and profit.

2007: The entire country of Estonia has been largely taken offline during a period of high tension with neighboring Russia.

About Hannah Schaeffer

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