One NZ blocks over 300,000 scam threat attempts in six weeks

Collaboration with GCSB is helping create NZ’s safest network says CEO Jason Paris.

One New Zealand has reported early success in the six weeks since switching on the Malware Free Networks® (MFN®) service with 313,000 phishing scam and threat attempts thwarted.

It is the only telco in Aotearoa protecting its customers from threats at the network level, working with partners DEFEND and the GCSB’s National Cyber Security Centre to block malware and malicious URLs.

“We hate scammers, and we’re tackling them head on. The vast majority of threats disrupted by MFN on One NZ’s networks relate to phishing and scams, with the remainder being various other forms of malware. These stats prove if you’re a One New Zealand customer, you’re safer. We all know someone or have heard stories about someone who has lost money to these kinds of scams, so it’s been an exciting start, seeing the positive difference this is making to Kiwi lives, daily,” said One New Zealand CEO, Jason Paris.

The naughty list

The tech works by blocking malicious URLS from being accessed, meaning where we know of campaigns targeting New Zealanders, like those dodgy missed parcel or incomplete tax return texts we all receive, the links don’t work, saving customers from potential fraud or money loss.

The types of companies or entities most being impersonated are the likes of NZ Post, IRD, and the banks.

“Typically, scammers will register website addresses that look like the real deal, in an attempt to appear authentic. They will then bulk send out text messages with the link, in attempt to get people to click, and share their banking or other personal information,” explains DEFEND CEO, Wenzel Huettner.

“The beauty of the SHERLOCK and Malware Free Networks system is its automatic, customers don’t need to do anything, just enjoy the additional security at no extra cost. We’ll screen out these malicious websites for you. SHERLOCK enables your business through intelligence driven threat protection keeping your people, systems, and information safe”.

GCSB Collaboration

At launch, GCSB’s Deputy Director-General and responsible for the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), Lisa Fong , said this significant expansion of the Malware Free Networks® MFN® service provides millions of New Zealanders with a better level of protection against known malicious cyber activity.

Fong said: “Millions of New Zealanders are better-protected from a range of cyber threats with the rollout of the National Cyber Security Centre’s MFN® capability to One New Zealand domestic broadband and mobile customers.”

“We appreciate One NZs commitment to the MFN® partnership and their collaboration with their integration partner, DEFEND to ensure customers and their businesses are safer.”

Jason Paris says this is just the beginning: “We’re making sure One New Zealand customers are safer with us. Beyond this initial launch, we will continue to put a lot of effort into systems and processes to identify and disconnect scammers and to block malware. We focus on doing this at a network level, so it doesn’t matter what kind of phone you use, and we will continue to explore new technologies to help us win this fight.”

At last night’s Spirit of Service Awards, GSCB National Cyber Security Centre’s collaboration with industry won both the Service Excellence Award and the overall Prime Minister’s Award.

MFN Launch: One NZ strengthens cyber defence with Malware Free Networks (MFN). One NZ.

NCSCC MFN announcement: NCSC welcomes expansion of Malware Free Networks® protection by One NZ | National Cyber Security Centre

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