New Zealand Central Bank confirms breach of its data system

By Reuters

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand said on Sunday that it was responding with urgency to a breach of one of its data systems.

A third-party file-sharing service used by the central bank to share and store some sensitive information was illegally accessed, the bank said in a statement.

RBNZ Governor Adrian Orr said the breach had been contained but added it would take time to understand the full implications of this breach.

“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 said in a statement.

In August, the operator of New Zealand’s stock exchange was hit by cyber-attacks. InPhySec, an independent cyber-security firm tasked with reviewing the cyber-attacks, said the volume, sophistication and persistence of the attacks were unprecedented for New Zealand.

In a November 2019 Financial Stability report, the RBNZ warned that the frequency and severity of cyber-security incidents were on the rise in New Zealand.

In February of last year, the bank said in a report that the expected cost of cyber incidents for the banking and insurance industry was between NZD80 million ($58 million) and NZD140 million per year.

“More extreme events have a low probability but are still plausible,” the bank said in that report.