14 Mar 2017

UK political parties warned of potential Russian cyber attacks

The Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has told the leaders of Britain’s political parties that they are at risk from Russian cyber attacks.

According to The Sunday Times, Ciaran Martin, Chief Executive of GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has written to political parties advising them of steps to take to avoid falling victim to potential hacking.

In the letter, he said: “You will be aware of the coverage of events in the United States, Germany and elsewhere reminding us of the potential for hostile action against the UK political system.

“This is not just about the network security of political parties’ own systems. Attacks against our democratic processes go beyond this and can include attacks on Parliament, constituency offices, think tanks and pressure groups and individuals’ email accounts.”

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson played down the risks, commenting that there was no evidence of any successful attacks in the UK.

Mr Martin said that GCHQ would offer seminars to help political parties understand the threats and reduce the risk of information being stolen.

Last month, he claimed that the Britain had been hit with 188 attempted high-level hacks in the previous three months.

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