Rabat - The British Parliament has announced it was hit by a cyber-attack sometime on Friday, with most MPs not finding out until Friday evening when they had rouble accessing their email accounts remotely.
Rabat – The British Parliament has announced it was hit by a cyber-attack sometime on Friday, with most MPs not finding out until Friday evening when they had rouble accessing their email accounts remotely.
No one is greeting the news with undo surprise. It comes just one month after a major breach of security occurred with 48 National Health Service (NHS) trusts were hit in a crippling cyber-attack.
A Parliamentary spokesperson announced that “unauthorized attempts to access accounts of parliamentary network users” had been uncovered Friday. MPs were issued an urgent message ordering them to stay “extra vigilant” to any possible hacks.
“Parliament has robust measures in place to protect all of our accounts and systems, and we are taking the necessary steps to protect and secure our network,” added the spokeswoman.
She explained that the difficulty MPs are having in accessing their email accounts is a direct result of the security measures the country’s National Cyber Security Centre, created last October, have put in place. “As a precaution, we have temporarily restricted remote access to the network,” she said.
Nonplussed by the incident, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said the attack is to be expected considering that “We have seen reports in the last few days of even Cabinet ministers’ passwords being for sale online.”
He added that public and private citizens alike should consider the hacking attempt as a warning to maintain their own high level of cyber security. “We know that our public services are attacked so it is not at all surprising that there should be an attempt to hack into parliamentary emails… It’s a warning to everybody, whether they are in Parliament or elsewhere, that they need to do everything possible to maintain their own cyber security.”
Still others took to social media with a healthy dose of renowned British humour. Henry Smith, Tory MP for Crawley, tweeted: “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…”