A cyber attack hit Britain’s government on Saturday in which hackers tried to access email accounts of politicians and officials.
Chris Rennard was the first to bring attention to the issue, and used Twitter to say: “Cyber security attack on Westminster, Parliamentary emails may not work remotely, text urgent messages.”
A spokesperson for the House of Commons affirmed that illegal attempts had been made to access administrative user accounts and that systems were in a position to protect member and staff 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 spokesperson said.
Lawmakers were powerless to access their emails away from Westminster due to the steps being considered to manage the matter.
A massive ransomware worm hit Britain’s National Health Service in May which disabled the computer system and forced some hospitals to turn down patients and redirect ambulances.
Liam Fox, a representative for international trade, said the attack was not a surprise and should serve as a caution to Britons.
“We’ve seen reports in the last few days of even cabinet ministers’ passwords being for sale online,” Liam said.
“We know that our public services are attacked so it’s not at all surprising that there should be an attempt to hack into parliamentary emails,” he added.
Part of the GCHQ spy agency, the National Cyber Security Center was set up in October last year to discuss what the administration considers is one of the biggest threats to British security.