web analytics

The background traffic is loud.

Written By: - Date published: 8:41 am, September 2nd, 2020 - 16 comments
Categories: Financial markets, internet, Media, The Standard - Tags: , , ,

Along with the grey weather, the weather around our local net is downright annoying at present. There are a massive increase in attempts to break into this site via backend systems and brute force front-end logins, a surge in scans from the search engine spider bots, and a lot of requests for putting up paid content. All of which have been ignored or dealt with.

Just looking through the logs, I’d say that over the last couple of months we have had at least a ten-fold increase in total traffic, and a mere doubling of human traffic heading into our moving election.

Most of which has been handled just by our usual security systems. But I suspect that this is just a side-effect of a more general run on out local net based on news reports of hacking and denial of service attacks.

For instance from Stuff “Govt spy agency has ‘no clues’ on source of cyberattacks on NZX” where amongst reporting on other attacks they detail attacks on media and other financial institutions.

Stuff spokeswoman Candice Robertson said Stuff had been targeted by a DDoS attack on Sunday which it had successfully defended itself against.

“Importantly, the Stuff site remains secure,” she said.

Radio NZ spokeswoman Charlotte McLauchlan said it had also experienced multiple DDoS attacks during the past 24 hours.

“We understand this may have been the same group that has been attacking the NZX and we are currently investigating,” she said.

“Our site remains secure and this has not impacted our audience.”

The country’s biggest banks are tightening security to protect themselves from similar attacks.

It is understood banks have been facing attempted attacks, although the Reserve Bank said it had not been advised of any significant issues over the weekend.

Little said most organisations were prepared for DDoS attacks and were able to “absorb them without disruption”.

“They fizzle out once it is clear they are not going to yield any response that the attacker might want,” he said.

Stuff “Govt spy agency has ‘no clues’ on source of cyberattacks on NZX

The MetService web site went down, as I noticed when I reached for their rain radar before biking to work.

MetService is the latest organisation to be hit by the same cyber attack that crashed the NZX website for five days.

The weather forecaster was hit by a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack today, but a spokesman said it was dealt with “in a timely manner”.

“As of 5pm today, there has been no notable loss of performance to any MetService digital platforms,” he said.

“MetService also operate a back-up site, this site contains all safety critical information, and includes authorised MetService severe weather watches and warnings, MetService rain radar imagery and brief forecast information.”

NZ Herald “MetService latest NZ organisation to be hit by targeted cyber attack, TSB experiences tech issues

It seems to be ongoing, as I’m getting the same thing today as I’m reaching for my bike helmet.

As this site is purely volunteer (thank you authors and moderators), financed by unsolicited donations (thanks a lot of for the higher donations in August) and my occasional spurts of work, we’re not a high value target. So personally I mostly notice the traffic on the background net by the pitch of the hum of my system fans in our living room.


Of course not all outages are the result of malicious action. While our site had an outage on 23th and 24th of August. That eventually proved to be a failing SSD drive slowing down the RAID array that runs the database of the The Standard on my home server. I sat down over weekend and wrote a routine to low level test for drives that were actually slowing down, but which were not triggering SMART errors so it could retire drives. I also added 3 spare drives to The Standard array to add to the single spare drive still running on it.

It is a case of closing door after the fact – but I’m sure that there has been a lot of that happening elsewhere around the local network this week.

Because of the extra load on my network, I added a feature two weeks ago to be a little more paranoid. The Wordfence utility, that does the bulk of the protection at the The Standard server, has a feature that will block known malicious IP numbers based on attacks coming from those locations. I turned it back on, and the unwanted traffic at the site dropped markedly.

But like all good security features, it is a double sided weapon. It also blocked at least one reader coming from the Flip ISP – probably because they had a dynamic IP from a previous bad actor. They reached out to me and I put in an over ride for the whole of the Flip address range. It anyone else notices a blockage, then could you contact me giving me your internet service provider, and I’ll make a case-by-case exception.

Since the 90% of our human traffic comes from within the NZ network, I’d like to put a free gateway around the local NZ IPv4 and IPv6 addresses – which are accessible here. Does anyone know of a computer readable and accessible list that can be read – I’d add that to the daily tasks.

16 comments on “The background traffic is loud. ”

  1. Andre 1

    Huh. It never occurred to me the reason Wordfence was giving me the single-finger 403 salute might be because I'm with Flip. I just figured it was a side effect of other issues that seemed to be happening at the same time.

  2. greywarshark 2

    We know that there has been a permanent underclass caused by free market, neolib economic practices called the precariat. The whole society has by wholeheartedly adopting tech that has no heart and putting vast amount of our communications and transactions on-line, opened us up to interference from any malefactor or grifter in the world leaving us in a vulnerability that has made our very living precarious.

    • Jum 2.1

      We also know this is happening just before an election and the particular targets have been chosen carefully.

  3. Jum 3

    collins' shadow portfolio national security and intelligence. brownlee's shadow portfolios GCSB, NZSIS, Covid 19 border response

    do collins/brownlee sit in at all national security meetings?

  4. RedBaronCV 4

    Excuse my ignorance but is it likely these attacks are coordinated or all from the one source? Do they want anything from NZ as a whole? Are they likely to be a practice run for ahem a similar attack on another country? While everyone is busy trying to shut this down is something else being sneaked in through a back door.? Is there a possibility of a commercial imperative – drive everyone onto cloud servers so that the attacks can be repelled by more bandwidth.

    • lprent 4.1

      Not particularly coordinated as far as I can see. Looks like a series of different criminal extortion groups trying their luck.

      I suspect that their ‘normal’ targets in other countries like the US and Europe are getting harder due to past experiences. So they’re expanding out to other countries. Basically there are a pile of compromised systems out there that can be hired as botnets from the malware controllers. So they get hired and target prospects.

      In the case of The Standard, every 3 years as part of the election cycle we get a significiant increase in human traffic. This attracts bots and people who’d like to compromise a higher traffic site or who’d like us to put up posts linking to or extolling their services. A third of my visible email comes from them. Since I throw them to the heuristic anti-spam systems for dispersion to the wider email world. I eventually don’t see them any more. My spam folder is rife with them until their score gets high enough and they just get rejected before the email arrives.

      This year, there appear to be a lot robotic emails and systems more than usual even in the election season. Probably because of the longer election period. Possibly because there are more botnets available. The worst I have seen so far is about 104 individual systems attempting brute force logins in a 5 minute period. They get three tries and then they are ignored for an hour. If they persist then they’re tagged as a threat and blocked for days or months. Same for systems trying various wordpress exploits.

      Plus of course the usual spiders from google, bing, baidu, and at least a few hundred more website scrapers are busy scuttling over the site more often because there are more comments.

      It is a bit noisy at present.

    • Stuart Munro 4.2

      This year has seen a substantial increase in attacks, which seem to have rolled through a number of countries, of which NZ appears to be the latest. Some large corporations, notably Amazon, have also been targeted.

      It is likely a loose group of attackers, perhaps somewhat like the Macedonian youtubers, but such groups may well be assisted or directed at some level by a state actor.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    Does anyone know of a computer readable and accessible list that can be read – I’d add that to the daily tasks.

    Open Visual Trace Route seems to have such a list. Probably made up of one or more of the licences included in the package such as:

    • lprent 5.1

      The easiest way is for me to load the NZ IP ranges directly into wordfence.

      I thought of MaxMind. But their country DB is USD 24 per shot or per month. And it is for the whole world.

      I'll have a look at the others once I'm outside corporate firewalls.

      The best one I have seen so far is https://lite.ip2location.com/database-ip-country

      It is a bit annoying that wordfence has a blacklist for countries and it has a global blacklist IP list.

      But it doesn't have a whitelist for countries that overrides the blacklist for IPs. So the only only real way to have the blacklist IPs, but let the whole of the NZ IP list (ie >90% of our human readers) through is to put the whole list of NZ IP ranges into the wordfence list.

      grumble

  6. gsays 6

    I have heard from a few people now, that part of the problem the NZX has been facing, is a lack of band with. Both at the business level and nationally.

    The analogy is the 'pipe' size coming into NZ is not big enough.

    So… does an answer lie in bigger 'plumbing'? Or can our internet come thru the air/space/satelite?

  7. karol121 7

    Ransom might just have to be considered a business related expense these days, until such time as many of the systems are "sured up" for a quick fix, completely overhauled or replaced.

    The old story; IFF (Identify Friend or Foe), but in this day and age of IP address spoofs, node "air gaps" and imposters posing as legit requester's or clients, what is guaranteed, let alone considered foolproof?

    GCSB (using the Centre for Critical Infrastructure Protection unit) considered these attacks and other vulnerabilities many years ago, but knowing about something and publicizing it simply affords education to those they serve, not protection.

    Just the cost of an internet presence is what I see.

  8. infused 8

    stop using consumer ssd's and smart will work properly.

  9. Ric Stacey 9

    My ISP is Flip. No problems in the last hour. (7.40pm now)

    • Andre 9.1

      I've had no problems today or yesterday. It was a few days back that Wordfence was doing the "computer says no" thing.

  10. sumsuch 10

    Sorry to hear, Lynn. They won't get by you. Other Left blogs, not so much.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Face to face meeting delivers significant progress on NZ-UK FTA
    New Zealand and the UK have committed to accelerating their free trade agreement negotiations with the aim of reaching an agreement in principle this August, Trade Minister Damien O’Connor announced. “We’ve held constructive and productive discussions towards the conclusion of a high-quality and comprehensive FTA that will support sustainable and inclusive trade, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Government taking action to protect albatross
    New population figures for the critically endangered Antipodean albatross showing a 5 percent decline per year highlights the importance of reducing all threats to these very special birds, Acting Minister of Conservation Dr Ayesha Verrall says. The latest population modelling, carried out by Dragonfly Data Science, shows the Antipodean albatross ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Adoption laws under review
    New Zealand’s 66-year-old adoption laws are being reviewed, with public engagement beginning today.  Justice Minister Kris Faafoi said the Government is seeking views on options for change to our adoption laws and system. “The Adoption Act has remained largely the same since 1955. We need our adoption laws to reflect ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Wider roll-out of cameras on boats to support sustainability and protect marine life
    Up to 300 inshore commercial fishing vessels will be fitted with on-board cameras by 2024 as part of the Government’s commitment to protect the natural marine environment for future generations.  Minister for Oceans and Fisheries David Parker today announced the funding is now in place for the wider roll out ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Plan for vaccine rollout for general population announced
    New Zealanders over 60 will be offered a vaccination from July 28 and those over 55 from August 11, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The rollout of the vaccine to the general population will be done in age groups as is the approach commonly used overseas, with those over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand introduces Belarus travel bans
    New Zealand has imposed travel bans on selected individuals associated with the Lukashenko regime, following ongoing concerns about election fraud and human rights abuses after the 2020 Belarus elections, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta has announced. The ban covers more than fifty individuals, including the President and key members of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ economy grows driven by households, construction and business investment
    The Government’s efforts to secure the recovery have been reflected in the robust rebound of GDP figures released today which show the economy remains resilient despite the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Grant Robertson said. GDP increased 1.6 percent in the first three months of 2021. The Treasury had ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Milestone 250th tower continues to improve rural connectivity
    The Government has welcomed the completion of the 250th 4G mobile tower, as part of its push for better rural connectivity. Waikato’s Wiltsdown, which is roughly 80 kilometres south of Hamilton, is home to the new tower, deployed by the Rural Connectivity Group to enable improved service to 70 homes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria to lift on Tuesday
    Following a further public health assessment of the COVID-19 outbreak in greater Melbourne, New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria has been extended to 11.59pm on Tuesday 22 June, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. It has been determined that the risk to public health in New Zealand continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister mourns passing of Dr Sir Ian Hassall
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is mourning the passing of Dr Sir Ian Hassall, New Zealand’s first Children’s Commissioner and lifelong champion for children and children’s health. As a paediatrician Sir Ian contributed to a major world-first cot death study that has been directly credited with reducing cot deaths in New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • APEC structural reform meeting a success
    APEC ministers have agreed working together will be crucial to ensure economies recover from the impact of COVID-19. Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs David Clark, chaired the virtual APEC Structural Reform Ministerial Meeting today which revolved around the overarching theme of promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Digital hub to boost investment in forestry
    A new website has been launched at Fieldays to support the forestry sector find the information it needs to plant, grow and manage trees, and to encourage investment across the wider industry. Forestry Minister Stuart Nash says the new Canopy website is tailored for farmers, iwi and other forestry interests, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government continues support for rangatahi to get into employment, education and training
    Over 230 rangatahi are set to benefit from further funding through four new He Poutama Rangatahi programmes, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “We’re continuing to secure our economic recovery from COVID by investing in opportunities for rangatahi to get into meaningful employment, education or training ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NCEA subjects up for consultation
    The education sector, students, their parents, whānau and communities are invited to share their thoughts on a list of proposed NCEA subjects released today, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. This is a significant part of the Government’s NCEA Change Programme that commenced in 2020 and will be largely implemented by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Major investment in plantain forage programme aims to improve freshwater quality
    The Government is backing a major programme investigating plantain’s potential to help farmers protect waterways and improve freshwater quality, Acting Agriculture Minister Meka Whaitiri announced at Fieldays today. The Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures (SFFF) fund is contributing $8.98 million to the $22.23 million seven-year programme, which aims to deliver ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • America’s Cup decision
    The Minister responsible for the America’s Cup has confirmed the joint Crown-Auckland Council offer to host the next regatta has been declined by the Board of Team New Zealand. “The exclusive period of negotiation between the Crown, Auckland Council, and Team New Zealand ends tomorrow, 17 June,” said Stuart Nash. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Food and fibres sector making significant strides towards New Zealand’s economic recovery
    The Government is backing the food and fibres sector to lead New Zealand's economic recovery from COVID-19 with targeted investments as part of its Fit for a Better World roadmap, Forestry Minister Stuart Nash said. “To drive New Zealand’s recovery, we launched the Fit for a Better World – Accelerating ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to He Whenua Taurikura – New Zealand’s annual hui on countering terrorism and violent...
    Check against delivery Can I begin by acknowledging the 51 shuhada, their families and the Muslim community. It is because of the atrocious violent act that was done to them which has led ultimately to this, the start of a dialogue and a conversation about how we as a nation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Cost of Government Southern Response proactive package released
    The Government has announced the proactive package for some Southern Response policyholders could cost $313 million if all those eligible apply. In December, the Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission, David Clark announced a proactive package for SRES claimants who settled their claims before October 2014. It trailed the judgment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New support to reduce emissions from public building and construction projects
    Government agencies are getting new support to reduce carbon emissions generated by construction of new buildings, with the release of practical guidance to shape decisions on public projects. The Ministers for Building and Construction and for Economic Development say a new Procurement Guide will help government agencies, private sector suppliers, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • He Whenua Taurikura: New Zealand’s first Hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism
    The Prime Minister has opened New Zealand’s first hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism, which is being held in Christchurch over the next two days. The hui delivers on one of the recommendations from the report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to inaugural Countering Terrorism Hui
    E aku nui, e aku rahi, Te whaka-kanohi mai o rātou mā, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau whakapono, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau aroha, Waitaha, Ngāti Mamoe, Ngai Tahu, nāu rā te reo pohiri. Tena tātou katoa. Ki te kotahi te kakaho ka whati, ki te kapuia, e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Campaign shines a light on elder abuse
    A new campaign is shining a spotlight on elder abuse, and urging people to protect older New Zealanders. Launched on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Office for Seniors’ campaign encourages friends, whānau and neighbours to look for the signs of abuse, which is often hidden in plain sight. “Research suggests ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Farewelling sports administrator and philanthropist Sir Eion Edgar
    Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson today expressed his sorrow at the passing of Sir Eion Edgar – a leading sports administrator and celebrated philanthropist who has made a significant impact both within and beyond the sport sector. “Sir Eion’s energy, drive and generosity has been truly immense. He leaves ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government to apologise for Dawn Raids
    The Government will make a formal apology for the wrongs committed during the Dawn Raids of the 1970’s. Between 1974 and 1976, a series of rigorous immigration enforcement policies were carried out that resulted in targeted raids on the homes of Pacific families. The raids to find, convict and deport overstayers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Humanitarian support for Bangladesh and Myanmar
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced that New Zealand is providing NZ $8.25 million in humanitarian assistance to support refugees and their host populations in Bangladesh and to support humanitarian need of internally displaced and conflict affected people in Myanmar.  “Nearly four years after 900,000 Rohingya crossed the border ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Poroporoaki: Dame Georgina Kamiria Kirby
    E Te Kōkō Tangiwai, Te Tuhi Mareikura, Te Kākākura Pokai kua riro i a matou. He toka tū moana ākinga ā tai, ākinga ā hau, ākinga ā ngaru tūātea.  Haere atu rā ki te mūrau a te tini, ki te wenerau a te mano.  E tae koe ki ngā rire ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Feedback sought on future of housing and urban development
    New Zealanders are encouraged to have their say on a long-term vision for housing and urban development to guide future work, the Housing Minister Megan Woods has announced. Consultation starts today on a Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development (GPS-HUD), which will support the long-term direction of Aotearoa ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Clean car package to drive down emissions
    New rebates for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles start July 1 with up to $8,625 for new vehicles and $3,450 for used. Electric vehicle chargers now available every 75km along most state highways to give Kiwis confidence. Low Emission Transport Fund will have nearly four times the funding by 2023 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Progress towards simpler process for changing sex on birth certificates
    The Government is taking the next step to support transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, by progressing the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill, Minister of Internal Affairs, Jan Tinetti announced today. “This Government understands that self-identification is a significant issue for transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Crown speeds up engagement with takutai moana applicants
    The Crown is taking a new approach to takutai moana applications to give all applicants an opportunity to engage with the Crown and better support the Māori-Crown relationship, Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little says. Following discussions with applicant groups, the Crown has reviewed the existing takutai moana application ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court opens
    The Minister of Justice, Kris Faafoi, and the Minister for Courts, Aupito William Sio, have welcomed the opening of a new Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court in Hamilton. The AODT Court (Te Whare Whakapiki Wairua) addresses situations where substance abuse and offending are intertwined. “New Zealanders have told ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • EU and UK FTAs top of list for first ministerial trip since COVID-19
    Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor today announced details of his planned visit to the United Kingdom and European Union next week, where he will hold trade and agriculture discussions to further New Zealand’s economic recovery from COVID-19. The visit will add political weight to ongoing negotiations with both the EU ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Arihia Bennett to chair Royal Commission Ministerial Advisory Group
    Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu chief executive Arihia Bennett MNZM has been appointed chair of the newly appointed Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “Twenty-eight people from diverse backgrounds across Aotearoa have been selected for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Medical Association General Practitioners' Conference, Rotorua
    Ki ngā pou maha o te whare hauora o Aotearoa, kei te mihiTo the pillars of our health system I acknowledge/thank you Ki te ope hapai hauora o roto o tēnei rūma, kei te mihi To our health force here in the room today, I acknowledge/thank you He taura tangata, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Karangahape Road upgrades are streets ahead
    The upgrades to Karangahape Road makes the iconic street more pedestrian and cycle-friendly, attractive and environmentally sustainable, Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said at the formal celebration of the completion of the Karangahape Road Enhancements project. The project included widening footpaths supporting a better outdoor dining ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to APEC business event
    E ngā tumu herenga waka, ākina ā ngaru, ākina ā tai ka whakatere ngā waka ki te whakapapa pounamu, otirā, ki Tamaki o ngā waka Tena koutou katoa… To the great leaders assembled, who guided your waka through turbulent times, challenging waters and you continue to navigate your respective waka ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pause on Quarantine Free Travel with Victoria extended
    Following an assessment of the COVID-19 outbreak in greater Melbourne, New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria will continue for a further seven days, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. There are now 93 cases associated with the outbreak in greater Melbourne, spread over four clusters. Contact tracing efforts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supplier Diversity Aotearoa Summit: Navigate 2021
    *** Check with delivery *** A mihi to all who have contributed to making today a success – starting with you! As you have explored and navigated government procurement today you will hopefully have reflected on the journey of our people so far – and how you can make a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pukemiro School to close
    Pukemiro Primary School near Huntly will close following years of declining roll numbers, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “I’ve consulted with the School Commissioner, and this decision acknowledges the fact that the few remaining students from last term are now settled at other nearby schools. “I want to thank ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago