UK PARLIAMENT has fallen victim to a ” determined cyber attack” that has seen an estimated 90 email accounts compromised. The attack, which first struck on Friday and affected “fewer than 1 percent of the 9,000 users of the IT system”, first came via Chris Rennard, a member of the Liberal Democrat party.
90 email accounts compromised as hackers target ‘weak passwords’
Up to 90 email accounts used by MPs and their staff may have been compromised in what is thought to have been Parliament’s worst-ever cyber-attack. The MPs fear a possible blackmail threat after what one source said may be a state-sponsored attack on their Parliamentary emails over the weekend.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and National Crime Agency are probing the incident, which came after reports hackers were selling Cabinet ministers and MPs’ passwords online.
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Less than 1 percent of the system’s 9,000 users are believed to have been directly impacted by the “determined and sustained” attack. “The figure is less than many feared but is still a breach. It is being taken very seriously.”
The parliamentary spokesman said those whose emails were compromised had used weak passwords despite advice to the contrary. “Investigations are ongoing, but it has become clear that significantly fewer than 1% of the 9,000 accounts on the parliamentary network have been compromised as a result of the use of weak passwords that did not conform to guidance issued by the Parliamentary Digital Service.
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said such an attack “absolutely” could leave some people open to blackmail. “Constituents want to know the information they send to us is completely secure,” he said.
“Earlier this morning, we discovered unusual activity and evidence of an attempted cyber-attack on our computer network. Closer investigation by our team confirmed that hackers were carrying out a sustained and determined attack on all parliamentary user accounts in an attempt to identify weak passwords.”
An NCSC spokesperson added: “The NCSC is aware of the incident and is working with the UK parliamentary digital security team to understand what has happened and advise on the necessary actions.”
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