The UK Parliament has been hit by a cyber-security attack that has left MPs unable to access their emails. MPs were informed about the hack last night and have struggled to access their official Parliament email accounts remotely. “The Houses of Parliament have discovered unauthorised attempts to access parliamentary user accounts,” a House of Commons spokesperson said. “We are continuing to investigate this incident and take further measures to secure the computer network, liaising with the National Cyber Security Centre.
“We have systems in place to protect member and staff accounts and are taking the necessary steps to protect our systems,” the spokesperson added. Liberal Democrat peer Lord Rennard revealed the attack on social media asking people to send any “urgent messages” to him by text.
“Cyber security attack on Westminster; Parliamentary emails may not work remotely. Text urgent messages,” he wrote on Twitter. Other MPs have also admitted having difficulty accessing their parliamentary email accounts. An email sent to MPs yesterday by Parliament’s digital services team said: “Earlier this morning we discovered unusual activity and evidence of an attempted cyber-attack on our computer network.”
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“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. These attempts specifically were trying to gain access to our emails. “We have been working closely with the National Cyber Security Centre to identify the method of the attack and have made changes to prevent the attackers gaining access, however our investigation continues.” The attack follows media reports earlier this week that passwords for some British MPs and officials were being sold online by hackers.