Media Releases

CERT NZ Media release - New data shows New Zealanders lost over $14 million to cyber security issues in 2018

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

A new report released today highlights the importance of New Zealand businesses and individuals having a trusted source of information they can turn to for help with cyber security incidents.

CERT NZ’s latest quarterly report shows another record high number of incidents reported in a single quarter. Over 1300 reports about cyber security issues were received between October and December 2018 from businesses and individuals around New Zealand.

“This quarter we’ve seen criminals rapidly modifying their tactics to extort money and information. These efforts are paying off – in the last quarter of last year New Zealanders reported losses of over $5.9 million, and more than $14 million overall in 2018,” says Rob Pope, Director CERT NZ.

In quarter four, incidents were reported across a range of categories, with scams and fraud continuing to have a big impact on New Zealanders. 50% of all reports received and $4.9 million in reported financial loss can be attributed to scams and fraud.

“These scams are becoming increasingly professional, they generate a considerable amount of money so scammers evolve their approach and employ new methods to continue tricking people into paying up,” says Mr Pope.

In quarter four, 36% of all reports related email extortion scams – threat-based emails that try and trick people into paying money to make the threat go away.

“We saw this type of scam evolve rapidly, from webcam blackmail emails that contained personal information like passwords in October, through to bomb threat emails in December. It’s more important than ever that Kiwis have a trusted source they can turn to for actionable advice to protect themselves online.

“It’s CERT NZ’s job to help New Zealanders report the cyber security incidents they are impacted by and get the information they need to recover. These reports also allow us to aggregate our information alongside international sources to make sure New Zealanders have access to the most up-to-date information on cyber security threats,” says Mr Pope.

If you or your organisation experiences a cyber security threat – or if you suspect you may have been exposed to one – contact CERT NZ any time at www.cert.govt.nz or call 0800 CERT NZ, Monday to Friday, 7am – 7pm.

Read the attached Quarterly report, and 2018 summary for more details.

ENDS

Media contact: 027 442 2141 or email media@mbie.govt.nz

About CERT NZ

CERT NZ is New Zealand’s Computer Emergency Response Team, and works to support businesses, organisations and individuals who are affected (or may be affected) by cyber security incidents. CERT NZ provides trusted and authoritative information and advice, while also collating a profile of the threat landscape in New Zealand. See www.cert.govt.nz for more information.