Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

British Parliament Hit by Cyberattack, Affecting Emails

A message demanding money is seen on a monitor of a payment terminal at a branch of Ukraine's state-owned bank Oschadbank after Ukrainian institutions were hit by a wave of cyber attacks earlier in the day in Kiev Ukraine British Parliament Hit by Cyberattack, Affecting Emails
Johnnie Parks | 28 June, 2017, 04:17

As part of the response to the cyber-attack, remote access to emails was disabled as officials sought to protect from future attacks and limit the effects of this hack. "As a result, some members of Parliament and staff can not access their email accounts outside of Westminster".

Although investigations are ongoing, the statement said that "significantly fewer" than 90 of the 9,000 accounts on the parliamentary network had been compromised as a result of the use of weak passwords that did not conform to guidance issued by the Parliamentary Digital Service.

Parliament's digital security team is continuing to investigate the attack.

This has been achieved and both Houses will meet as planned tomorrow.

The statement adds: "Parliament is now putting in place plans to resume its wider IT services".

An email sent to all those affected, seen by the Guardian, said: "Earlier this morning, we discovered unusual activity and evidence of an attempted cyber-attack on our computer network".

Chris Rennard, a member of the Liberal Democrat party in the upper House of Lords, was the first to draw attention to the problem, using Twitter to announce: "Cyber security attack on Westminster, Parliamentary emails may not work remotely, Text urgent messages".

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Other lawmakers, including Tory MP Henry Smith, quickly followed suit. Multiple media outlets have quoted unnamed sources in the British intelligence sphere suggesting that the attack must have been sponsored by a nation state.

United Kingdom security services believe the attack is more likely to be state-sponsored than carried out by group of hackers, according to The Guardian, which cited an unnamed security source as saying it was a brute force attack that appeared to be state-sponsored. The Sun says the "unprecedented" attack "could leave politicians. susceptible to blackmail, or at risk of terrorist attack".

Liam Fox, a Tory MP who serves as Britain's global trade secretary, said it's no surprise that attackers might be trying to harvest lawmakers' email access credentials.

U.S. officials have previously said they were seeking to share their experience of the 2016 presidential election, where United States intelligence agencies concluded that Russian Federation hacked and leaked Democratic party communications and disseminated fake news with the aim of getting Donald Trump elected.

Security experts say the attacks are a reminder to practice essential email-related information security defenses, such as using two-factor authentication.

It is believed that the affected network is used by all members of the parliament, including the Prime Minister Theresa May and all cabinet ministers.

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