Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 21 September 2020


UK opposition Labour Party criticised over 'large scale' cyber attack claim to voters

Experts revealed the cyber attack was carried out with a cheap piece of equipment

The incident came as Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party demanded the UK government release a report into alleged Russian electoral interference. Getty
The incident came as Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party demanded the UK government release a report into alleged Russian electoral interference. Getty

The UK’s Labour Party has been criticised over its 'large scale' cyber attack claims as experts reveal it was "cheap and unsophisticated".

A week into campaigning for the December 12 election, the main opposition party revealed it had been a victim of a cyber attack on Monday.

However, on Tuesday experts revealed the cyber attack was carried out by a cheap piece of equipment which can be easily purchased on the darkweb and conducted by a lone wolf.

The nation’s cyber defence investigators have not even ranked the incident on its lowest threat level category.

Cyber security expert Kevin Beaumont said the attack was "not sophisticated" and the group was protected its security systems.

"This was a denial of service attack. Labour use Cloudflare who soaked it up. It was not sophisticated," he tweeted.

Earlier Labour said the party experienced a "sophisticated and large-scale cyber attack".

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told supporters at a rally on Tuesday: "It was a very serious attack against us.

"If this is a sign of things to come in this election then I feel very nervous about it all because a cyber attack against a political party in an election is suspicious and something one is very worried about."

A party spokesperson said: "We have experienced a sophisticated and large scale cyber attack on Labour digital platforms."

"We took swift action and these attempts failed due to our robust security systems. The integrity of all our platforms was maintained and we are confident that no data breach occurred," the party said.

The incident comes amid mounting pressure from the Labour Party on the government to publish a report into Russian interference in UK politics.

On Tuesday Hillary Clinton said she is "dumbfounded" that the UK government has failed to release a report on Russian influence in British politics.

Speaking to the BBC, the former US presidential candidate said the public needs to know what is in the report by Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee before British voters go to the polls.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government has said it needs more time to review the security implications of the report before it is released.

Critics allege the report is being withheld until after the election because it is embarrassing to Mr Johnson's Conservative Party.

"I'm dumbfounded that this government won't release the report ... because every person who votes in this country deserves to see that report before your election happens," Mrs Clinton told the BBC.

"There is no doubt ... that Russia in particular is determined to try to shape the politics of Western democracies, not to our benefit but to theirs."

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the 2016 US presidential election found that Russia interfered in the vote in a "sweeping and systemic" fashion.

US President Donald Trump, who won office in that vote, has dismissed the Mueller report's conclusions, but the investigation has put Russia into the cross-hairs of a debate on freedom and the integrity of elections worldwide.

On Tuesday, Mr Corbyn told his campaign rally that pledges by prominent Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage to stand down his Brexit Party candidates in Conservative seats was signs of an alliance between the two parties and Mr Trump.

"I think what we have before us is an alliance between Nigel Farage, Donald Trump and Boris Johnson,” he said.

Latest polls on Tuesday by Survation revealed the lead between Mr Johnson's Conservative Party over the opposition Labour Party has narrowed over the past week.

Support for the Conservatives rose one point to 35 per cent while the Labour Party rose three points to 29 per cent.

The pro-European Union Liberal Democrats and the Brexit Party each fell 2 points, to 17 per cent and 10 per cent.

Updated: November 12, 2019 08:39 PM

More on Brexit
Sign up to our daily email
Most Popular