New Zealand Stock Exchange Keeps Trading Amid Ongoing DDoS Attacks


New Zealand’s stock exchange kept trading Monday even as operator NZX’s website crashed again in what appears to be a resumption of DDoS attacks that crippled the market last week.

August 31, 2020 | AtoZ MarketsOn Monday, the operator of New Zealand’s stock exchange, NZX says trading continues on its X-Stream trading platform, despite its public-facing website NZX.com website having problems for the fifth-trading day in a row.

Soon after opening the market, NZX.com went offline around 10.20 am, then was up-and-down over the next half hour. It appears to be another distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. New Zealand’s communications security bureau (GCSB) issued an advisory to all businesses around the same time.

New Zealand stock exchange keeps trading

NZX suspended trading on four consecutive days last week following the cyberattacks on its website.

But today it is trading under a new arrangement with the Financial Markets Authority that lets the NZX keep trading even if NZX.com has been forced offline a fresh cyber attack. Due to security reasons, NZX post information to alternative sources that they refused to name. It says people who are actively trading stock will get market releases.

One example was crowd-trading app Sharesies. The app has begun sharing announcements from NZX-listed companies with its members via a document on Google Drive.

NZX shifts to Akamai

Earlier, the NZX confirmed it has drafted in Akamai Technologies, the multinational content delivery network giant.

Akamai is not perfect. An angry Spark insider pointed the finger at the US company after the first-half Spark Sport streaming failure in the key All Blacks-South Africa group-stage clash during the Rugby World Cup.

But it does have huge capacity and sophisticated defenses, which should help the NZX ward off any renewed DDoS attacks.

And Finance Minister Grant Robertson confirmed late Friday that the Government had directed the GCSB to assist the exchange, too, potentially further beefing up its defences (although the spy agency’s main cyber-defence system, Cortex, is aimed at stopping break-ins rather than a DDoS-style attack, where thousands of hijacked computers are used to overwhelm a website with connection requests, forcing it offline).

The NZX appears to now have six nameservers on Akamai’s network. Previously, the servers that direct computers looking for nzx.com sat on the same network on Spark, and there were only two of them.

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