A LABOUR MP has been hit with a ransomware attack after malware managed to make its way into Parliamentary PCs and propagate itself.
The MP is Chi Onwurah, and while her website does not mention the attack against her, it does include alarming information about data theft and what people should do to avoid it.
We have asked her for details about the incident and are waiting for a response. In the meantime, she has already revealed all to the Times newspaper (paywalled) which reports that hackers used the Cryptolocker virtus to leak sensitive files from a shared drive that was used in the secured network.
Following the attack, which saw hackers demand random from the MP, Parliamentary Digital Service (PDS) quickly disconnected all the connections of Ms. Onwurah’s computers to the shared device.
Commenting on the hack, which struck back in May this year, Onwurah said that people need to start to get a grip on their systems. She's not just talking about us either, she is aiming her criticisms at the government, too.
"It's important that everyone realises how susceptible we all are to these attacks. There are reports that foreign intelligence agencies have targeted MPs' computers, so the time has come to find out how well we are being protected, especially now we know what cyber-attackers can do," she said.
"A lot of what I deal with is very confidential to the person concerned. They should expect a high level of confidentiality and a high level of security."
Onwurah is MP for Newcastle Upon Tyne Central, and in the summer, after a number of high-profile security breaches, she took the government to task over its
approach to data security.
"Over the summer, we have seen example after example of consumers' data - credit card details, travel records or dating preferences - being hacked or shared without their permission. What is the Minister doing to ensure that consumers can own and control their own data?" she asked.
What they have done in this case is scorch earth the Onwurah computer real estate and remove the MP from the Parliamentary network. This looks like a short-term solution. µ
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