The British parliament was hit by a cyber attack Friday night that left members and staffers unable to access emails as hackers attempted to exploit weak passwords and gain access to accounts.
“Sorry no parliamentary email access today – we’re under cyber attack from Kim Jong Un, Putin or a kid in his mom’s basement or something…” Henry Smith, a Conservative member, tweeted.
“Cyber security attack on Westminster Parliamentary e.mails may not work remotely Text urgent messages,” wrote Chris Rennard, a Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords.
— Chris Rennard (@LordRennard) June 24, 2017
Sorry no parliamentary email access today – we’re under cyber attack from Kim Jong Un, Putin or a kid in his mom’s basement or something…
— Henry Smith MP (@HenrySmithUK) June 24, 2017
A spokesperson for the House of Commons released a statement confirming “unauthorised attempts to access parliamentary user accounts.”
“The Houses of Parliament have discovered unauthorised attempts to access parliamentary user accounts. We are continuing to investigate this incident and take further measures to secure the computer network, liaising with the National Cyber Security Centre,” the statement read. “We have systems in place to protect member and staff accounts and are taking the necessary steps to protect our systems.”
The Guardian obtained an email sent by Westminster estate to those affected by the hack that also confirmed a “cyberattack,” and stated that an investigation was underway.
“Earlier this morning we discovered unusual activity and evidence of an attempted cyber-attack on our computer network. 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,” the email to members of parliament read.
“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.”