'I assume we do' - Prime Minister Bill English says NZ is likely target of North Korean cyber attacks

Prime Minister Bill English says New Zealand is a likely target of North Korean hackers. 

Mr English's assumption comes after two US law enforcement officials said investigators suspect North Korea may be behind the global "ransomware" attack, named Wannacry. 

They said the information is based on a preliminary investigation and stressed investigators are still following digital clues in the probe.

Speaking from Tokyo today while on a whirl-wind two-day trip to Japan, Mr English said there was no evidence that Wannacry had hit New Zealand.

However he said he "assumes" New Zealand has been the target of North Korean hackers.  

"They are a rogue state, they do all sorts of things that most governments don't do, I assume we get those attacks," Mr English said. 

"Our job is to make sure we're set up as well as possible to deal with such attacks. 

"We've been dealing with cyber attacks for a while, 24 hours, seven days a week and have spent a lot of time and money setting ourselves up to deal with it."

During Mr English's meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe this morning, the question of whether a North Korean missile could reach New Zealand was asked of officials in the wake of threats of missile strikes against Australia by North Korea. 

Concern in Japan is very high over the North Korean threat after a missile landed in the sea off Japan and Russia on Sunday.

Mr English also met with the head of the Tokyo government this morning, with its looming hosting of the 2020 Olympics high on the agenda.

The Prime Minister says NZ has been vigilant in dealing with attacks from various locations, likely to include the rogue state. Source: 1 NEWS