The Labour Party has been hit by a cyberattack on a third-party company which stores member’s data, a statement on their website confirms. Although Labour didn’t confirm the exact nature of the incident, they said that data had been rendered inaccessible by the attack, leading to speculation that it was a ransomware attack.
A ransomware attack is an increasingly common occurrence. It happens when a computer becomes infected with malware, or malicious software, which can happen when a user clicks on an infected link, or visits an insecure website. The malware encrypts the files on the device, and the attacker demands a ransom in return for unlocking the information.
According to Sky News, Labour have reported the incident to the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), and the National Crime Agency (NCA), and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
NCSC said: “We are aware of this issue and are working with the Labour Party to fully investigate and mitigate any potential impact. We would urge anyone who thinks they may have been the victim of a data breach to be especially vigilant against suspicious emails, phone calls or text messages and to follow the steps set out in our data breaches guidance.”
Labour urged its members to take extra vigilance online, and be aware not to respond to any suspicious phone calls, text messages, or emails. There are no further details about exactly what data has been compromised, and members will be anxious to know if sensitive information such as bank details and passwords can be accessed by the cybercriminals.
The NCSC urges organisations or individuals who are the victim of a cyberattack not to pay the ransom, as this perpetuates the criminal activity, and is no guarantee that the data will be unlocked. However, in practice, many organisations do pay ransoms to cybercriminals, because it is not illegal, and is covered by certain types of insurance policy.
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