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British Parliament Hit by Cyberattack, Affecting Email Access

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Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II with Prince Charles in the House of Lords on Wednesday. Credit Arthur Edwards/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

LONDON — The British Parliament was the target of a cyberattack that left many legislators unable to connect to their email on Saturday as remote access to accounts was disabled as a security measure.

Legislators were made aware of the problem on Friday night, and Chris Rennard, a Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords, publicized the problem in a Twitter message on Saturday, saying those with “urgent messages” should text him.

Last week, there were reports in The Times of London that the passwords of British cabinet ministers, ambassadors and senior police officers were being sold online after Russian hacking groups gained access.

According to The Times, the stolen data revealed the private login details of 1,000 British members of Parliament and parliamentary staff, 7,000 police employees and more than 1,000 Foreign Office officials.

The National Cyber Security Center, which was set up to protect the country against cyberattacks, said that it would reissue guidance to government departments after being presented with the findings.

The parliamentary authorities are also working with the center to protect the network and ascertain the scale of the damage, according to a spokeswoman for the House of Commons, who did not provide a name by British convention.

In a statement, the spokeswoman said that “the Houses of Parliament have discovered unauthorized 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 Center.”

Source: NYT > World

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