Has NZ cyber-attacked other countries?

Prime Minister Bill English is refusing to confirm or deny whether New Zealand has committed cyber-attacks on other countries.

It's little-known, but the Defence Force has a cyber-warfare capability for counter-attacks on countries like North Korea.

"I couldn't comment on the Defence Force capacity, all I can say is we have put in place well-funded, increasingly skilled cyber-security defence system," Mr English says.

The Prime Minister revealing that North Korea has attacked New Zealand.

However it wasn't a direct hit from the rogue state - but hack attacks aimed at global disruption, like the WannaCry attack that caused cyber chaos.

"Well I think these things work a bit like the recent high profile cyber-attacks they may not necessarily be picking on a country and they may not necessarily be aiming at NZ they're just spraying themselves through the internet trying to cause problems," Mr English says.

Cyber attacks can include:

Ransomware, where data is locked until ransoms are paid

Hacks that steal information

Shutdowns of important computer systems

What New Zealand does is super-secret. The cyber-force only came to light in the Defence White Paper in June 2016.

And the Prime Minister refusing to detail what New Zealand's soldiers do on the dark web.

A war on the web - but Kiwis kept in the dark about our role.


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