GCSB investigating claims North Korea is tapping into NZ internet

New Zealand cyber security officers are investigating claims that North Korea is secretly tapping into our internet.

The claims come from one of the world's top threat intelligence companies.

Foreign Affairs Minister Gerry Brownlee says New Zealand is investigating whether it happened.

While the exact details aren't yet clear but it's thought North Koreans are covertly accessing New Zealand's cyberscape through a practise called tunneling.

It involves creating special connections called VPNs that essentially remove geographical barriers.

The claims are made in a report by threat intelligence agency called Recorded Future. Mr Brownlee got the report today off the internet.

The report says there are significant physical and virtual North Korean presences in several nations around the world engaging in malicious cyber and criminal activities, including in New Zealand.

Mr Brownlee says there's a chance it's not malicious. "What it could be is North Koreans who have devices, cell phones etc unable to access their very tightly controlled state intranet, as opposed to the internet, in order to see what is going on in the outside world."

The other possibility is that it's North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un's senior officials spying on us.

"The GCSB are having a look at it all," Mr Brownlee says.

Most North Koreans will have no idea what the internet is, but those running the country do and the fact New Zealand spy agencies are investigating the claims, shows just how serious the matter is.