6 Sep 2015

SIS publicises security breach case studies

5:05 pm on 6 September 2015

The country's security service says foreign intelligence officers broke into two New Zealanders' hotel room and bugged their laptops and cellphones, in an attempt to access secret information.

The breach is one of many being used to teach government staff about information security.

The Security Intelligence Service has posted the case studies on a government website, and says they are based on real events.

One example refers to two New Zealand government employees at a foreign trade conference, who had tracking malware installed on their phones and laptops by intelligence officers.

They also had the contents of their computers copied - including deleted, protected documents.

Another example cites a taxi driver who tried to blackmail a government employee after they left confidential documents in the taxi.

The Security Intelligence Service says the case studies are used to reinforce the need for people to follow security requirements.

A lecturer at Massey University's Centre for Defence and Security studies, Rhys Ball, said the case studies were a useful tool.

"People, particularly in the defence sector or government service may not be necessarily familiar or aware of some of the reasons that are out there, why these people talk to them and get alongside them, until it's too late."

Dr Ball said there was a reason some information was classified.