Emergency changes were being made to MPs’ IT system yesterday after a “cyber security incident”. A high-importance email was sent out by Parliamentary officials warning MPs to remain extra vigilant and look out for suspicious emails or activity . The email, sent just after lunchtime, said: “We are currently investigating a cyber security incident.
“We are going to be making some emergency changes to the IT network which may cause some disruption.”
The email was sent hours after reports that British politicians’ passwords had been traded by Russian hackers.
The Times reported that 1,000 Parliamentary workers’ logins were traded (Photo: Moment RF)
The Times claimed 1,000 MPs and parliamentary staff, 7,000 police employees and more than 1,000 Foreign Office staff were in the troves sold or swapped on Russian-speaking hacking sites. Cabinet ministers including Education Secretary Justine Greening and Business Secretary Greg Clark were said to be among the haul. However, a House of Commons spokesman would not confirm whether or not the probe was related to The Times’ report.
Officials also declined to say how many email accounts were affected, when the incident occurred or what it was. The spokesman said: The Houses of Parliament are currently investigating a cyber security incident.
“Like all responsible organisations we have to respond to constantly evolving threats . We have systems in place to protect member and staff accounts and to prevent unauthorised access to information .
We are working to investigate the incident and will be taking the necessary steps to protect our systems.
Police want to speak to a man about an attempted armed robbery of security guards outside a Tesco supermarket in Clacton. Officers have launched an appeal to find Scott Paley, from Dagenham, as part of an investigation into an attempted robbery2 of two security guards outside Tesco3 in the Brook Retail Park, London Road, on January 18. Paley, 43, is described as being 5ft 6ins tall, and has connections to London and Canvey4.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Serious and Organised Crime Unit at Essex Police on 101. They can also give information independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or www.crimestoppers-uk.org6. No personal details are taken by Crimestoppers, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not have to attend court.
Hospital bosses are ready to appoint a specialist ‘cyber security officer’ after their systems were targeted in an attack which caused disruption to patients and staff. The Royal Stoke University Hospital and Stafford’s County Hospital 2were among a number of NHS facilities affected during the ransomware attack last month. Now IT experts at University Hospitals of North Midlands (UHNM) say work is continuing to protect their systems along with turning to a dedicated expert. The global attack resulted in some trusts having to cancel appointments, while patients also experienced delays to services
Around 47 were hit with the ransomware, known as Wanna Decryptor or WannaCry . It infected 200,000 machines in 150 countries . The ransomware locked users’ files and demanded 230 for them to gain access . It also spread to organisations including FedEx, Renault and the Russian interior ministry. Read more – NHS PROBE: Did hospital fire lead to patient deaths?3 Mark Bostock, IT director at UHNM, said the threat of infection has gone from simple user error to the more sinister cyber criminals .
He said: The biggest problem used to be from users and that would be brought in by accident . We are in a different world now. Cyber crime has become more sophisticated and we have criminals who can sit on the shoulders of geniuses and use all kind of technology . It has become a lucrative pastime for those who want to make money and those who just want to cause disruption.” Pictured: The message appearing on affected systems last month (photo by PA)
Mr Bostock said initiatives are underway in the aftermath of the attack, including the appointment of an expert . He added: We have 12 projects in relation to improving our position and we are also looking to appoint a cyber security officer.
We are also collaborating with NHS Digital around cyber crime prevention and we are also working with West Midlands Police.”
Read more: Slimmer: prostrate cancer survivor loses 4 and a half stone
4 Mr Bostock also heaped praised on the hospital staff for their efforts during the attack. “The whole team worked hard behind the scenes to maintain our clinical systems whilst also making sure that the non-clinical systems were back online within a matter of days,” he said. “I would like to thank the IT team for their professionalism, dedication and for going that extra mile to ensure that our services were restored to normal as quickly as possible.”
North Staffordshire health campaigner Ian Syme has welcomed the tighter security measures . He said: “I think something like a cyber security officer is extremely important and I believe it is a role that should cover various NHS services locally – and also to help GPs.
“The cyber attack on the NHS caused disruption which had an impact on patient care . The whole system needs to be protected and this incident showed that the NHS is not immune.”
The trust says details of the cyber security role are not publicly available, but will later be advertised on the NHS website.
Looking for a job? Visit Fish4Jobs for available roles around Stoke-on-Trent here5
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