International cyber security expert says Government strategy won't stop cyber attacks

An international cyber-security expert says the Government's new security strategy won't stop people having their personal information sold on the dark web.

"It raises the awareness among New Zealand businesses but it doesn't fix the issue," Joerg Burss told The AM Show on Monday.

Last week the Government revealed its $8 million Cyber Security Strategy, which aims to create more aware citizens, build a capable cyber security workforce, and take a proactive response to cybercrime.

Burss says there is no way to completely stop cyber-crime, as it is part of being on the internet. 

His company Darkscope works to help Kiwi businesses prevent cyber-attacks.

"We do dark web intelligence services, so we hunt for information about our customers which shouldn't be there," he said.

"The most common case is user credentials get compromised, so someone hacks into a third party like LinkedIn or Facebook and they get user names and passwords," he continued.

"This information is used to compromise our customers. It's on the dark web for sale."

Personal accounts usually cost around USD$50 (NZ$75).

But they're not easy to find.

"The whole point of the dark web is to be anonymous- the whole purpose of being on there is to be undetected." he told The AM Show.

Burss says the strangest thing he has found while trawling the dark web was himself - an email account of his was compromised and his information was up for sale.

"So I bought it," he said through laughter. His information wasn't being sold at the premium US$50 though.

"I think it was only a couple of dollars."

Burrs says the Government response is a step in the right direction.

If you want to protect yourself from cyber-attacks, he recommends using a secure app to store your passwords, rather than writing them down in physical form or in a word document.

The apps will also tell you when you should change your password.



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