Financial losses from cybercrime have decreased, scammers shifted their focus to text message-based scams.

Between April and June, financial losses reported to CERT NZ amounted to $4.2 million, marking a $1.6 million decrease compared to the previous quarter. Meanwhile, the overall number of reports remained consistent. Additionally, there was a 24% decrease in the number of reported scams compared to the first quarter of this year.

These stats are from CERT NZ’s latest Cyber Security Insights report. Reduced scam and fraud incidents likely led to lower financial losses, though the exact cause of the decline in scams remains unknown.

CERT NZ Director Rob Pope praised consistent incident reporting, but $4.2 million in losses is still significant, and efforts continue to lower this figure.

The report explores “smishing,” text message-based phishing, which saw a 26% increase in reports. These messages change rapidly, demanding vigilance to avoid substantial losses.

Pope stressed the importance of ongoing awareness as scam tactics evolve.

The report also emphasizes discovering and disclosing vulnerabilities in cybersecurity. It supports businesses reporting and receiving vulnerability reports and urges software companies to prioritize security in their designs and implement disclosure policies.

Here are key statistics according to CertNz from quarter two:

  • 1,950 reports responded to by CERT NZ, down 1% on previous quarter.
  • $4.2m in financial losses reported to CERT NZ, down 27% on previous quarter.
  • Incident category reporting:
    • Phishing and credential harvesting, still the largest category, is up 26%. This remains the main common vector for further cybercrime.
    • Unauthorised access down 28% on previous quarter.
    • Scams and fraud reports are down 24% from last quarter.

Source: Financial losses to cybercrime dip despite scammers moving to text message scams | CERT NZ

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