Both Houses of Parliament – the House of Commons and the House of Lords – have been hit by a “sustained and determined” cyber attack. So say cyber experts upon reports over the weekend from a number of MPs and peers that they were unable to access their parliamentary emails from outside the Parliamentary estate.
A source from Whitehall was reported in the Daily Mail as saying it was “inevitable” that information had been stolen and there are fears that the information stolen may be used to blackmail both MPs and peers.
A House of Commons spokesperson is reported as saying in the Daily Mail that: “The Houses of Parliament have discovered unauthorised attempts to access parliamentary user accounts”. The spokesperson added that: “We are continuing to investigate this incident and take further measures to secure the computer network, liaising with the National Cyber Security Centre.”
The attack comes roughly a month after several NHS trusts fell victim to a hacking attack. With reports that the Wi-Fi password for the parliamentary estate was so well-known that even the McDonalds worker across Westminster bridge knew it, it once again shows the importance of cyber-security today.