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Showing posts with label New Zealand. Show all posts

NZ Stock Exchange Halted Temporarily Twice After Being Hit by Cyber Attacks

The New Zealand stock exchange was hit by a cyber-attack due to which it had to remain offline two days in a row. The exchange said the attack had "impacted NZX network connectivity" and it had chosen to temporarily halt trading in cash markets not long before 16:00 local time.

The trading had to be stopped briefly for a second time, yet was back ready for action before the day's end. 

A DDoS attack is generally a quite straightforward kind of cyber-attack, wherein a huge 'array' of computers all attempt to connect with an online service at the same time usually resulting in 'overwhelming its capacity'. 

They frequently use devices undermined by malware, which the owners don't know are a part of the attack. 

While genuine traders may have had issues with carrying out their business, but it doesn't mean any financial or personal data was accessed. NZX said the attack had come “from offshore via its network service provider". 

The subsequent attack had halted the trading for a long time in the working day - from 11:24 to 15:00 local time, the exchange said. In any case, in spite of the interference, the exchange was up at the end of the business, close to its 'all-time' high. 

Nonetheless, NZX said it had first been hit by a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack from abroad and so the New Zealand cybersecurity organization CertNZ had also given a caution in November that mails were being sent to financial firms threatening DDoS attacks except if a ransom was paid. 

The mails professed to be from a notable Russian hacking group Fancy Bear. 

Be that as it may, CertNZ said at the time 'the threat had never had never been carried out, past a 30-minute attack as a scare tactic'.

New Zealand legalize salary payments in Cryptocurrencies

New Zealand is the first country to legalize payment of salaries in the form of  Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, Financial Times report.

The tax agency has deemed it legal for companies to pay wages in digital currencies is secured to at least one standard, or fiat, currency.

The country’s Inland Revenue Department (IRD) published a bulletin on August 7, 2019, stating that the ruling was made under the Tax Administration Act 1994.

According to the bulletin released, "the companies can only pay cryptocurrency to employees working under official employment agreements. Payments also have to be for a fixed amount – “the value of the crypto-asset is pegged to one or more fiat currencies.”

The ruling also states that cryptocurrency-based salary payments must also be able to be “converted directly into fiat currency (on an exchange).”

The report states that the salaries must be paid in a crypto-asset that functions as a currency.

The move has started a round of discussion on the controversial digital money coming into the realm of everyday payment modes. The major problem with the cryptocurrencies is that they are relatively free of regulation, and they are untrackable.

New Laws in NZ Give Rise To Invasion Of Privacy

As indicated by new custom rules that became effective on Monday, travellers who decline to surrender their passwords, codes, encryption keys and other data empowering access to electronic devices could be fined up to $5,000 in New Zealand.

The new rules are the consequences of the updated Customs and Excise Act 2018 law, which was brought into effect on Monday, set out new rules for officers who direct the  'Digital strip-searches' and determines that access to personal technology must be given over also.

The Civil rights advocates are particularly outraged at the sudden change, saying that it was a grave breach of security and did little to protect the boarders.

Customs Spokesperson Terry Brown when approached with respect to the matter said that while it might appear to be obtrusive, the new law gives a 'delicate balance' between somebody's rights and the law. As it is a document by-record search on the travellers’ phone, they aren't going into 'the cloud' and just analysing the phone while it's on flight mode.

Mr Brown added further that officers would just request that somebody give their own passwords in the event that they trust they have a reason to presume a wrongdoing.

Then again, Thomas Beagle the Council for Civil Liberties spokesperson, says -

 “The law is an unjustified invasion of privacy because customs don't have to provide a reason for the search. They don't have to tell you what the cause of that suspicion is, there's no way to challenge it. Any 'serious criminal' wouldn't store incriminating information on their digital devices - they would rather store it online, where customs can't access.”

All things considered, in a news release, the New Zealand Customs Service said the law would help outskirt consistence and bolster the national economy. It guaranteed the public that it would "rarely notice much difference at the border, with existing provisions reconfirmed or clarified."