Brexit cyber threat: MPs attacked with 2 million scam emails every month

Cyber research reveals that Members of the House of Commons and House of Lords are being hit with around 20m email attacks every year, including spam, phishing and malware

by Patrick Sullivan, Political Editor on 2 September 2019 13:27

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MPs and House of Commons staff were hit with 20,973,102 cyber attacks through spam emails in the most recent financial year, according to official figures.The data, released under the freedom of information act, revealed on average 1.9 million junk email attacks were sent to Parliamentary staff including phishing, viruses and malware, all of which was blocked by the Parliamentary estate’s security systems.

A Parliamentary Estate spokesman refused to provide a full breakdown of the a type of action blocked, saying, “This level of detail would reveal information about our security operations and network set-up which would be useful to potential cyber-attackers, and as such disclosure of the information would have the effect of increasing the vulnerability of the parliamentary security systems.”

In 2016 MPs complained about being ‘bombarded’ with spam emails from Donald Trump’s campaign team asking for donations.

The speaker, John Bercow stepped in to ask Parliament’s digital team to stop people from receiving the messages.

Tim Dunton, MD at Nimbus Hosting comments: “With an increasingly complex Brexit process, it’s critical that all Members of Parliament remain vigilant and protect themselves from spam emails, which hackers use to dupe unsuspecting victims into handing over confidential information. Many of these messages contain viruses which could infect the IT systems of individuals or put the security of the wider Parliamentary network at risk.”

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