Iran is Being Blamed for a Cyber Attack on Parliament

By Tom Pritchard on at

Back in June Parliament suffered a cyberattack, focussing on MP's email accounts. While many might have assumed the attack came from Russia, or possibly even China, it turns out Iran might have been responsible.

According to The Times intelligence services have pinned the blame on the middle eastern state, and around 30 accounts were compromised in the process. If true, this would make June's attack the first Iran has carried out against the UK. While 30 accounts sounds like a lot, over 9,000 (including those belonging to prime minister Theresa May) were targeted.

That doesn't sound like a great success, though it depends on what information the attackers managed to get from those 30 accounts. A high-ranking cabinet member's email account is far more lucrative than 10 backbenchers from small constituencies around the country.

It's also been suggested that the attack might have been an exploratory mission, testing the UK's cyber-defences for future reference. Or information that could compromise the UK's interests and force it to make concessions when it comes to Iran's anti-nuclear proliferation deal. One theory even suggests that factions within Iran's Revolutionary Guard were hoping to use the attack to cancel the nuclear deal, and open up the country to fully-fledged nuclear research. That's all speculation, though. All we know for sure from The Times' report is that the attack was not financially motivated.

Authorities haven't commented, but they have reportedly concluded that Iran did obtain sensitive material as a result of the attack. If only there was someway we could bolster our cyber defences and communications. Possibly with some sort of encryption? But normal people don't need that, do they? [The Times via Engadget]


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