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Iran 'responsible' for hacking UK parliament emails: report

The report claims evidence points the blame toward Iran for the hacking [Getty]

Date of publication: 15 October, 2017

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Evidence outlined in a new report by the UK's National Cyber Security Centre said a cyberattack on MPs emails earlier this year was orchestrated by Iran.

A cyber attack that targeted email accounts belonging to dozens of British MPs earlier this year has been blamed on Iran, a new report revealed.

A government body responsible for protecting the country from attacks said evidence points the blame toward the Islamic Republic, not Russia or North Korea, as initially believed.

However a spokesperson for the National Cyber Security Centre said “it would be inappropriate to comment further while inquiries are ongoing.”

On 23 June, dozens of accounts belonging to British members of parliament, including the Prime Minister Theresa May and other senior ministers were compromised after hackers managed to gain access to accounts protected by weak passwords for more than 12 hours.

In total, 9,000 email accounts were affected.

At the time, Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen said such an attack could “absolutely” leave those affected at risk of blackmail. 

“Constituents want to know the information they send to us is completely secure,” he said.

Both Russia and North Korea have been accused of orchestrating previous cyber attacks targeting the UK, however the report suggests evidence, on this occasion, dismisses the two countries.

A security source told the Guardian at the time that “it was a brute-force attack. It appears to have been state-sponsored. The nature of cyber-attacks means it is notoriously difficult to attribute an incident to a specific actor.”

Despite the evidence, no motive has yet been outlined, however experts believe that Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps could be using cyber-warfare to undermine the nuclear deal, the Telegraph reported.

The reports’ findings follow days of tension between Iran and the west, after US President Donald Trump refused to re-certify the landmark 2015 nuclear accord.

However, the leaders of Britain, France and Germany said they remain committed to the international nuclear deal with Iran.

The statement from the the three countries said the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had "repeatedly confirmed" Iran's compliance to the terms it signed up to, despite Trump's claims.

"We, the leaders of France, Germany and the United Kingdom take note of President Trump's decision not to recertify Iran's compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) to Congress and are concerned by the possible implications," the statement said.

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