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New Zealand Stock Exchange Hit Repeatedly by Cybercriminals Demanding Bitcoin

NZX has halted trading for the third day in a row as a result of cybercriminals attempting to extort cryptocurrency.

Aug 27, 2020 at 10:19 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 9:48 a.m. UTC

The New Zealand stock exchange has halted trading for the third day in a row as a result of criminal cyberattacks.

  • According to a report by Bloomberg on Thursday, the NZX exchange has suffered connectivity issues leading to a series of outages that were the result of targeted disruption by bad actors from outside the country.
  • The criminals are demanding bitcoin in order to cease the distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, which flood the bandwidth of a particular system with traffic and rendering it slow or unusable.
  • The exchange suffered outages during the last hour of trading on Tuesday and again for over three hours on Wednesday.
  • Today’s outage has yet to be resolved, according to Bloomberg.
  • According to another report by ZDNet, the attacks may be directed by a criminal cyber gang using monikers including Amada Collective and Fancy Bear that belong to more famous hacker groups.
  • Specifically, the attackers have been targeting the exchange's hosting service Spark, demonstrating a level of sophistication by regularly changing the protocols involved.
  • Over recent weeks, the group has tried to extort bitcoin from other well-known financial services including PayPal, MoneyGram, YesBank India, Braintree and Venmo.

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