London (CNN Business)Cybercriminals have disrupted trading on New Zealand’s financial markets for three consecutive days.

New Zealand’s Exchange (NZX) said in a statement Thursday that it was working with cybersecurity experts and hoped to resume “normal trading” on Friday.The exchange said it halted stock trading at about 4 p.m. local time (12 a.m. ET) on Tuesday after it experienced a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack from outside the country. That was followed by further attacks on Wednesday and Thursday, which prevented trading in debt and equity markets for most of the day. The derivatives market was also closed from 4 p.m. on Thursday.DDoS attacks aim to disrupt service by flooding a network with large volumes of internet traffic. A widespread DDoS attack in 2016 caused outages for some users on services such as Twitter (TWTR) and Netflix (NFLX).The motive for the attack on New Zealand’s stock market remains unclear, and NZX declined to comment on whether the attackers were demanding a ransom.Read More”We do not comment publicly on our specific cyber security arrangements or how we are responding to specific threats,” it said. “NZX is continuing to work with its network provider to investigate the source of the issue.” But this type of attack is becoming much more common, as cybercriminals capitalize on the proliferation of computing services accessedBut this type of attack is becoming much more common, as cybercriminals capitalize on the growth in public clouds and sell their services cheaply on the dark web. DDoS attacks surged 542% in the first quarter of this year, compared to the final three months of 2019, according to cyber security company Nexusguard.”One reason why DDoS attacks are so inexpensive is that more and more people that offer DDoS-for-hire services are leveraging the scale and bandwidth of public clouds,” said Juta Gurinaviciute, chief technology officer at NordVPN Teams, the cloud-based network provider.

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