The British Parliament blocked MPs and peers out of their own email accounts after the hackers tried to guess their passwords and gain access.
The House of Commons issued two statements confirming the attack and lockout of the accounts over the weekend, and we saw the attack reported by the BBC.
The attack took place on Saturday and some MPs could not access emails all weekend from anywhere outside of Westminster.
Pirated pirates have attempted a “brute force” attack, where they try to guess passwords by mistake and error. The lower your password, the easier it is to enter your account.
On Saturday, a parliamentary spokesman said the IT team had discovered “unauthorized access attempts to users of the parliamentary network” and blocked remote access as a precautionary measure. To be clear: it was not pirates who blocked MPs out of their accounts.
The problem could affect anyone with emails on the parliament.uk domain. Although this affects the electoral addresses of the riding for Prime Minister and cabinet ministers, they are conducting more sensitive ministerial affairs on the gov.uk domain, sources told Sky News.
On Sunday, the House of Commons press office issued an updated statement indicating that the attack had affected less than 90 e-mail accounts. The IT team is still investigating whether the pirates have access to something useful, but both Houses of Parliament will meet as usual today.
The press office blamed the few compromised accounts on “weak passwords that do not comply with guidance” by the Parliament’s IT services.
The National Cyber Security Center, set up to protect the UK’s critical infrastructure from attacks, is also involved. He said in a statement: “The NCSC is aware of an incident and works 24 hours a day with the British parliamentary digital security team to understand what happened and advise on the necessary mitigation measures.”
Some MPs still can not access their emails remotely. Politician Plaid Cymru, Hywel Williams, said he was not able to read messages, instead of accessing a “blank screen”. He added that he had been told “no information has been stolen”.
The British security services believe that another state could be behind the attack, such as Russia, according to The Sunday Times. But a security source also said it was difficult to attribute the attack to a single culprit.
Some MPs also told the paper that they were worried about the prospect of blackmail if the pirates managed to access the accounts of politicians.
But other MPs have shed light on Twitter. Labor MP Wes Streeting wrote: “I’m not sure what they expected to find: 38-degree messages, newspaper demands and MPs bragging about committee elections.”