Hackers launched “a sustained and determined attack” on the UK Parliament’s computer network to breach parliamentary emails protected by weak passwords, joining the list of hacked governments.
Approximately 90 accounts were affected. The victims will be contacted and further investigations will reveal if any data has been lost.
“On 24 June we discovered unauthorized attempts to access accounts of parliamentary networks users and are investigating this ongoing incident, working closely with the National Cyber Security Centre,” reads the release.
“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.”
After attacks on Germany, France, Norway and the US, over 10,000 MPs, parliamentary staff and members of the House of Lords were warned they may receive blackmail threats and were advised to immediately change passwords to their email accounts. Once the attack was detected, all email accounts were briefly blocked and users couldn’t access emails outside Westminster.
“Sorry no parliamentary email access today – we’re under cyberattack from Kim Jong Un, (Vladimir) Putin or a kid in his mom’s basement or something…,” wrote on Twitter Conservative MP Henry Smith.
Although the identity of the attackers is unknown, inside sources said in interviews with The Times that “It was a brute force attack. It appears to have been state-sponsored.”