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New Zealand Ramping up Measures to Manage Ransomware Attacks

Hackers who had targeted hospitals in New Zealand’s Waikato district last May have released what appears to be private patient information to media outlets, as health systems struggled to come back online more than a week after the attack. After the ransomware incident, all organisations are taking considerations on having a proactive plan in place to protect themselves and their companies from any cyber-attacks or ransomware incidents that might happen again in the future.

In New Zealand, more than half of businesses have been successfully targeted by ransomware, with 20% estimating that their company has been targeted by 16 or more ransomware attacks a quarter.

With the risk of attack so high, organisations looking to continue accelerating their growth need to have a proactive plan in place to protect themselves. Cybersecurity measures are necessary, but ransomware attacks frequently bypass them or exploit security vulnerabilities. If this happens, the only alternative is to pay the ransom unless the company has a secure backup system.

Most organisations back up their data for disaster recovery and business continuity purposes. However, data restoration from these legacy systems, on the other hand, can be slow and inconvenient, with no guarantees. If the backup data is likewise corrupted, the company may have no choice but to pay the ransom and assume that the attacker decrypts the data without causing any additional damage.

Besides that, software experts from a cybersecurity business in New Zealand claim to have discovered a new strain of Windows ransomware known as ‘Epsilon Red,’ which targeting unpatched Microsoft Exchange servers to encrypt machines.

The Epsilon Red ransomware is delivered as the final executable payload in a deliberately coordinated operation, according to the researchers.  to their findings, every other element of the attack is dependent on PowerShell scripts which involves:

  • A script that executes a command on the infected computer to remove Volume Shadow Copies, making it more difficult for the target to retrieve part or all of the files encrypted by the attackers.
  • A script that uninstalls any security or backup software that may be installed on the infected PC. It looks for certain programmes, as well as anything in the title bar that says “Backup” or “Cloud,” and then tries to terminate and delete it. The attackers also try to disable or kill processes that, if they were running, might prevent encryption of valuable data on the hard drive.

According to an article from OpenGov Asia, CERT NZ- the Computer Emergency Response Team are developing a much richer understanding of the types of threats and issues that are affecting New Zealanders, and New Zealand businesses. Phishing and credential harvesting (where an attacker collects personal data) were the most reported form of attacks and were up 76% in 2019. Behind those were scams and fraud reports, which are up by 11%.

In total, NZ$ 16.9m was lost to attackers – the most in a single year since CERT was launched. The country’s one-stop shop for cybersecurity said they were not surprised that more attacks and more financial loss were being reported, as New Zealand’s an exceptionally attractive country, with a very trusting set of communities.

To avoid this situation from happening, businesses should opt for a backup data storage system that protects data from malicious attacks by locking it down. By creating an immutable snapshot of backup data and associated metadata catalogues, this type of solution can prevent the data snapshot from being deleted, encrypted, or modified.

The data snapshot is off-limits even if an attacker gains admin right. This is a secure method of protecting data from hackers. The next stage is to swiftly and successfully restore the data. The backup architecture is required for this feature. It must bring in all of the data from the organization’s several silos without slowing down. The faster the data can be restored, the sooner the organisation can get back to business acceleration.

When an organisation can recover quickly from a ransomware attack, customers and partners gain confidence in the business, letting the organisation accelerate its growth safely and reliably.


Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.


CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.


Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.


SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.


HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 


IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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