New Zealand security chiefs increasingly concerned about foreign interference

Hampton said in a pre-written speech that over the past year, the GCSB had witnessed geostrategic competition intensifying around the world, including in the Pacific region, while serious cyber security incidents continue to threaten New Zealand organisations.

State-sponsored cybersecurity actors feature significantly with 34 per cent of recorded incidents that can be linked to state actors, up from 28 per cent the previous year, said Hampton.

Neither agency would name countries involved in the activity but did point to New Zealand’s censure of China for its involvement in a global hacking spree in 2021 and Russia for its malicious cyber activity against Ukraine in 2022.

Phil McKee, Acting Director-General of Security, said the threat of foreign interference and espionage is a growing cause for concern, adding information was being collected on those who speak out against foreign governments and their families being threatened in their home countries.

“Foreign interference should not be tolerated,” McKee said.

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