House of Commons hit by cyber security attack
UK parliamentarians prevented from accessing their email when not in Westminster
House of Commons in London: The British parliament has been hit by a cyber attack that is preventing politicians from accessing their emails when not in Westminster. File photograph: PA Wire
The British parliament has been hit by a cyber attack that is preventing politicians from accessing their emails when not in Westminster, parliamentary authorities have said.
The Telegraph newspaper said politicians were alerted to the hack on Friday and were unable to access their email accounts on Saturday.
Chris Rennard, a member of the Liberal Democrat party in the upper House of Lords, said on Twitter: “Cyber security attack on Westminster, Parliamentary emails may not work remotely, Text urgent messages.”
The BBC quoted a spokeswoman at the House of Commons as saying the lack of email access was due to the steps being taken to manage the issue.
“The Houses of Parliament have discovered unauthorised attempts to access parliamentary user accounts,” the spokeswoman said.
“We are continuing to investigate this incident and take further measures to secure the computer network, liaising with the National Cyber Security Centre.
Systems were in place to protect member and staff accounts. she said.
Neither the House of Commons nor the Cyber Security Centre could immediately be reached for comment.
Britain’s National Health Service was hit by a massive ransomware work in May which crippled the computer system and forced some hospitals to turn away patients.
International trade secretary Liam Fox told ITV News the attack was a “warning to everyone we need more security and better passwords. You wouldn’t leave your door open at night.”