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MPs and political staff targeted by cyber attacks, security experts say

Officials fear politicians could be targeted as the election draws closer

Will Worley
Thursday 18 May 2017 01:20 BST
Concerns are high over cyber attacks following the WannaCrypt bug, which hit the NHS
Concerns are high over cyber attacks following the WannaCrypt bug, which hit the NHS (AFP/Getty)

MPs and political staff have been targeted by cyber attacks, security experts have said.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) made the revelation as it released guidance for politicians on staying safe online in the run up to the election.

The phishing attacks are likely to continue, the NCSC said.

Less than 10 people were targeted by the emails, which used personal addresses rather than official government accounts, The Telegraph reported.

Concerns about cyber attacks have been heightened after a ransomware bug shut down thousands of NHS computers and froze IT systems across the world.

The WannaCry bug is believed to have been spread by a phishing attack, which is believed to have been criminal in nature.

Phishing emails attempt to trick users into giving out their password and other sensitive details by posing as genuine messages from service providers.

The NCSC said: “Attackers might send legitimate-looking password reset emails, urgent-sounding messages about financial problems, account change notifications requests, or links to documents that require you to log in with passwords.

“The emails are very convincing and could arrive at an individual’s personal or work email account, perhaps even appearing to come from someone known to the recipient.”

Following hacks on election campaigns in the US and France, security experts have warned a similar politically motivated cyber attack could be launched against the UK as it prepares for its national poll.

Russia-linked actors have been blamed by the American and French intelligence services.

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