Economy

Blackmail fears after 'sustained' bid to break into MPs' email accounts

Blackmail fears after 'sustained' bid to break into MPs' email accounts”

They added that as the affected accounts are identified, the individuals who operate them are being contacted and additional investigations will be conducted to identify whether any data has been stolen.

Investigations are under way to see whether any data has been lost.

"We will continue to keep members of both Houses of Parliament and the public updated as the situation develops".

A spokeswoman for the House of Commons confirmed that unauthorized attempts had been made to access parliamentary accounts and said systems were in place to protect member and staff details.

After Friday's attack, Tory MP Henry Smith on Twitter quipped: "Sorry no parliamentary email access today - we're under cyber attack from Kim Jong Un, (Vladimir) Putin or a kid in his mom's basement or something".

The investigation by Parliament's digital security team is ongoing, but it now speculates that up to 90 accounts - or less than 1% of the network's 9,000 users - may have been compromised in the attack.

"We are continuing to investigate this incident and take further measures to secure the computer network, liaising with the National Cyber Security Centre", she said.

The parliamentary spokesperson said the accounts which have been compromised "did not conform to guidance issued by the Parliamentary Digital Service" regarding password strength.

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It prompted parliament to temporarily block all remote access to the email accounts of MPs, members of the House of Lords and parliamentary staff.

The investigation comes amid reports that passwords for ministers were being sold online by hackers.

While the United States still tries to sort out how Russian cyberattacks played an influence on the recent presidential election, the British Parliament is now experiencing its own attack from hackers this weekend.

"Earlier this morning, we discovered unusual activity and evidence of an attempted cyberattack on our computer network", an e-mail sent by parliamentary authorities to the affected people said.

Parliament shut down external access to email accounts on Saturday as it battled what officials called a "sustained and determined" attack.

He wrote: 'There's something wrong with Parliamentary emails so if you did email me, can you send to ian.c.austin@outlook.com instead please?' The National Crime Agency also said it was co-operating with NCSC which was leading the operational response.

Liam Fox, the International Trade Secretary, said the incident was no surprise after the recent hacking attack against the NHS. "This has been achieved", a spokesman said.



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