On the 23rd of June, the British Houses of Parliament were the latest institution to come under attack from an online attack. In just a matter of hours’ hackers made in the region of 20,000 attempts to get into online user accounts.
The attack, that led to officials disabling remote access to thousands of email accounts belonging to a range of MP’s, peers and their staff was first alerted by the Parliaments security operations centre. Rob Greig, Director of the Parliament Security Operations Centre reported “We saw around 200,000 attempts to get into our users’ accounts” he referred to “brute force” methods that specifically targeted weak passwords on a large scale.
Due to the nature of the attack and those targeted there is minimal information being shared with the public currently, however, Grieg did reveal that it didn’t seem to be an amateur attack and was not fully automated, as the attacker(s) were keeping an eye on the automation of the attack, fighting back at their attempts to stop it. He also admitted that the attack was predicted, “it was always going to happen” there was substantial evidence of heavy activity on the network preying on the vulnerabilities.
As a small business owner, I am fully aware of the dangers that await vulnerable I.T systems and the basic steps that can be taken to prevent attacks like these. As mentioned by Grieg, the attackers were successful mainly due to the weak passwords used by so many. With around 200,000 attempts made and at least 9,000 accounts taken offline, there is seemingly many noncomplex passwords within the houses of parliament. These are the absolute basics of cyber-security and the absolute bare minimum that should be happening both at home and in your business, easy passwords used for all your online accounts leave you wide open and vulnerable to hackers basic attacks.