UK’s Labour and Conservative parties hit by cyber attacks, Latest World News - The New Paper

UK’s Labour and Conservative parties hit by cyber attacks

This article is more than 12 months old

LONDON: Hackers hit Britain's two main political parties with cyber attacks on Tuesday, sources said, attempting to force political websites offline just weeks ahead of a national election.

The attacks come after UK security agencies warned that Russia and other countries may attempt to disrupt the Dec 12 vote with cyber attacks or divisive political messages on social media.

The opposition Labour Party said on Tuesday morning it had "experienced a sophisticated and large-scale cyber attack on Labour digital platforms," but that the attack was repelled and no data was compromised.

Just hours later, the party's website and other online services came under a second digital bombardment, followed by a third attack on the website of the governing Conservative Party, according to two people with knowledge of the matter and documents seen by Reuters.

Sources said there was currently nothing to link any of the attacks to a foreign state.

One of sources said the attack on the Conservatives was larger and appeared to be conducted by different hackers, but did not take down any party websites.


Asked about the second attack, a Labour spokesman said: "We have ongoing security processes in place to protect our platforms, so users may be experiencing some differences. We are dealing with this quickly and efficiently."

The country's National Cyber Security Centre said the first attack on Labour was a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack - a technique used by hackers to take down websites by overwhelming them with traffic.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the first attack on his party was successfully repelled by the party's defence systems.

"But if this is a sign of things to come in this election, I feel very nervous about it all," he said.

"Because a cyberattack against a political party in an election is suspicious and something one is very worried about." - REUTERS