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Cyber attack's effects reach New Zealand

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 28/06/2017

The effects of a global computer virus are now being felt by some New Zealand companies.

The ransomware virus, which locks users out of their computers and demands payment in bitcoin, has spread to thousands of computers and caused havoc around the globe after taking hold earlier in the week.

Among its victims is Danish shipping giant Maersk, which delivers freight to New Zealand.

Ports of Auckland says that's been slowing down some of its processes for incoming goods.

"It's just minor things and it's slowing down communication," spokesman Mark Ball said.

"Instead of being able to use our normal systems of communication, we have to use alternate systems, rather than the specialised software."

The first affected Maersk vessel would be reaching Auckland on Friday with another on Sunday, he said.

A spokesperson from the Port of Tauranga says it has one Maersk ship in port on Thursday but has avoided any delays or downtime.

"We are exchanging critical information with Maersk via an alternative method."

Commercial manager Leonard Sampson says "at this point in time it is business as usual at the port and no disruption is expected".

Global law firm DLA Piper has also been affected, including in New Zealand.

The company said it had taken down its IT systems as a precautionary measure and was working to get them back online as quickly as possible.

Staff would still be available over the phone as usual, it said in a statement.

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