Gisborne-based lawyers Woodward Chrisp was hit by a cyber-attack this week with a ransom demand that the firm refused to pay, according to a report in the Gisborne Herald.
The message from the cyber criminals occurred yesterday over the lunch hour and did not specify the amount but Woodward Chrisp partner Adam Simperingham said they would not pay.
Mr Simperingham said they had put measures in place to prevent similar attacks from happening again saying he was aware how they got in and the portal had been closed. However it took down some of the firm’s systems, including its accounting system which would take some days to restore.
The attack once again shows the increasing frequency of cyber attacks upon law firms and others.
The firm’s IT supplier Infinity IT who had been retained only a few weeks earlier said it was confident the data was encrypted sufficiently and would be retrieved.
Infinity IT advised the firm it did not have a sufficient backup system in place and had one set up before the cyber-attack.
“What we’ve learned is that having a backup is essential and it has been a big sigh of relief that we’ve got that,” Mr Simperingham said.
Many of the law firm’s systems were taken down, including its accounting system. It will take a few days to get these back online.
The Government’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT NZ) has seen a sharp rise in cybercrime in recent years.