New Zealand stock exchange targeted by two DDoS attacks in two days

The New Zealand Stock Exchange (ZX) suffered two consecutive DDoS attacks via its network services provider in two days that impacted its websites and the Markets Announcement Platform and was carried out by offshore hackers.

The DDoS attacks were announced by the New Zealand Stock Exchange earlier today via a couple of announcements in which NZX said the attacks resulted in temporary disruption to network connectivity, resulting in its websites getting stalled for a few hours.

"Yesterday afternoon NZX experienced a volumetric DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack from offshore via its network service provider, which impacted NZX network connectivity. The systems impacted included NZX websites and the Markets Announcement Platform.

"As such, NZX decided to halt trading in its cash markets at approximately 15.57. A DDoS attack aims to disrupt service by saturating a network with significant volumes of internet traffic. The attack was able to be mitigated and connectivity has now been restored for NZX," NZX said in the first alert issued today.

In a subsequent alert, the New Zealand Stock Exchange said it "experienced a further disruption similar to yesterday's related to a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack."

"The systems impacted included NZX websites and the Markets Announcement Platform. As such, NZX decided to halt trading in its cash markets at approximately 11.24am. The NZX Main Board, NZX Debt Market and Fonterra Shareholders Market returned to normal trading at 3pm," it added.

Commenting on the consecutive cyber attacks targeting the New Zealand Stock Exchange, Ilia Kolochenko, Founder & CEO of ImmuniWeb, told TEISS that the attacks may be a rehearsal of a major attack targeting NASDAQ or LSE amid the craziness going on the global stock markets.

"I don’t think that major cyber gangs have their own interest in, or were hired by someone to conduct a DDoS capable of repeatedly shutting down NZX. While even a daily outage of NYSE can lead to multibillion losses around the globe, and probably even some bankruptcies and countless lawsuits.

"Unfortunately, not much can be done to prevent large-scale and well-prepared DDoS attacks today. Worse, DDoS attacks are hardly investigable, and most of their authors enjoy skyrocketing profits in virtual impunity. During the pandemic, the average price of bots used for DDoS has fallen, and will probably become even more affordable.

"When millions of devices suddenly start a massive attack, it’s a question of network capacity not really network security. We witnessed many examples in the past, when even the largest DDoS protection companies ceased protecting some of their clients under exceptionally large DDoS and gave up. Web applications and APIs should, however, be regularly audited for business logic and architectural security flaws that may consume all CPU/RAM and greatly facilitate a DDoS attack,” he added.

ALSO READ: Labour Party website suffered two DDoS attacks on the same day

MORE ABOUT: