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UK MPs Became More Vulnerable to Hacker Attacks

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Old 05-06-2017
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UK MPs Became More Vulnerable to Hacker Attacks

British MPs who are heading out on the campaign trail will become much more vulnerable to hacking. As is known, hackers are most likely to intervene in democracies just before the election, because they lose protection of the parliament’s information security services.


Indeed, after Wednesday’s dissolution of parliament, MPs don’t have the special status of MPs any longer, and hence lose the protection of Westminster’s IT security infrastructure. This is why cyber attackers are more likely to obtain data and gain access to sensitive networks.

Given the thousands of parliamentary candidates in the country, any one can turn out a weak spot that allows organized attackers to penetrate party machinery. In fact, just one legislator who has been independently hacked can then infect an entire network if they aren’t careful.

The problem is that political parties, unlike parliaments and governments, usually lack the resources for a full IT department. In most cases, they instead rely on commodity cloud services such as Google Apps. Such approach rendered the DNC susceptible to “phishing” in the runup to the election in the United States, where hackers successfully faked Gmail login screens and tricked Clinton aide John Podesta into handing over his password.

The security researchers pointed out that 2016 saw the prominence of operations trying to influence political events in targeted countries. The targeted attack groups have usually focused on espionage and maintained a low profile to avoid detection, but some groups added more overt operations.

Aside from the DNC hack in the US, there were similar attacks on democracy in other nations: for example, a China-based group named Tick has been targeting Japanese organizations for at least 10 years, while the Shamoon malware, which wipes hard disks, was used against Saudi Arabian energy companies a few months ago.
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