InternetNZ goes phishing

A blog post by Terence Hibbert, Business Development Manager at InternetNZ

Welcome to the first in a series of posts about our response to growing online threats exploiting DNS framework.

We’re trying to land all the bad fish in a good net.

New Zealand saw a 93% increase in phishing volume in 2019, according to 2019 Phishing Trends and Intelligence Report. Other online threats are also on the rise all over the world:

  • 76% of businesses reported being a victim of a phishing attack in 2017
  • 90% of all breaches involve phishing attacks
  • 180,768 phishing sites were detected in 1st quarter 2019
  • 3.4 billion fake emails are sent daily worldwide.

Despite the use of firewalls and antivirus, small to medium NZ businesses are becoming increasingly susceptible to cyber threats, such as malware, ransomware, phishing, botnets, that often use the DNS system to direct people to malicious sites.

In CERT NZ’s 2018 summary report, 3,445 incidents were reported to the organisation of which 1550 related to phishing and credential harvesting and 1,336 related to Scam and Fraud. It represents a 205% increase in reported incidents from 2017.

According to CERT NZ, 1,131 incidents were reported in 2017, with over a $5.3 million total financial loss. Estimating the number of money businesses and Internet users are losing annually because of these online threats is very difficult as most of the incidents likely come unreported to the authorities.

Of the 12 categories of issues CERT NZ reports on, five relate to techniques that can leverage the DNS as part of their operations.

It is something InternetNZ has chosen to meet head-on. DNS is the lifeblood of InternetNZ being the Kaitiaki, or Guardian, of the New Zealand .nz name space and the authoritative DNS for all .nz domain names. We are entrusted with governing and managing this vital resource on behalf of New Zealanders since the inception of the Internet here in Aotearoa.

Industry IT leaders have identified DNS Firewalls to be a vital layer of cybersecurity with the number of threats and sophisticated attacks growing daily.

As a result, InternetNZ has taken a further step in our guardianship of New Zealand’s digital landscape by investing in our own cloud-based DNS Firewall product to meet this growing global problem and overcoming some of the biggest barriers. We will soon offer this vital layer to managed service providers and ISPs as an option to their customers.

In the next blog post, I will explain in detail how a DNS firewall can help to reduce cyber risks for your organisation. Stay tuned!

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