Volunteer Service Abroad targetted by ‘sophisticated’ ransomware attack | #malware | #ransomware


Ransomware attackers have targeted New Zealand’s largest volunteer agency working in international development.

On Wednesday Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA) announced it had been the victim of a “sophisticated” ransomware attack. Last week Waikato District Health Board was brought to its knees by another attack.

Chief executive Stephen Goodman​ said the non-governmental organisationwas hit last week, with attackers locking its computer systems and demanding a ransom.

“What we’re dealing with here is someone has encrypted our information.”

VSA had no intention of paying, he said.

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Volunteer Service Abroad sends New Zealanders to work in the wider Pacific on development projects.

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Volunteer Service Abroad sends New Zealanders to work in the wider Pacific on development projects.

Goodman said the attack was not connected with the Waikato DHB situation.

The NGO was in the early stages of its recovery process and Goodman believed there had been no breaches of personal data. Additional measures to protect VSA’s data and systems had now been installed.

“As soon as VSA became aware of the attack we engaged private cyber experts, the Privacy Commission [sic], the National Computer Emergency Response Team (Cert NZ) and NZ Police.”

Goodman said VSA had lost of some of its historic information in the attack.

The attack had been “a real inconvenience”, but it had not disrupted the deployment of any volunteers. The NGO was up and running again, he said.



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