MSPs urged to be vigilant after 'brute force' cyber attack on Holyrood

Written by Tom Freeman on 16 August 2017 in News

Scottish Parliament victim of cyber attack on MSPs' email accounts

Parliament windows - Holyrood

The Scottish Parliament has been victim of a cyber attack, chief executive Paul Grice has confirmed.

The attack was similar to one carried out on Westminster in June, he said.

In a letter to MSPs and parliament staff, Grice urged vigilance when it comes to internet and email passwords.


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"The parliament's monitoring systems have identified that we are currently the subject of a brute force cyber attack from external sources," he wrote.

"This attack appears to be targeting parliamentary IT accounts in a similar way to that which affected the Westminster parliament in June. Symptoms of the attack include account lockouts or failed logins.

"The parliament's robust cyber security measures identified this attack at an early stage and the additional security measures which we have in readiness for such situations have already been invoked. Our IT systems remain fully operational."

Globally, cyber attacks on governments have increased to become the joint most attacked sector for the first time along with the financial sector.

Cyber security has become a hot topic in Scotland after NHS boards fell victim to a UK-wide attack in May.

“We need to be clear that combatting threats of this nature isn’t something government can achieve alone," said Justice Secretary Michael Matheson at the time.

“Cyber security is everyone’s business and we need to ensure that all organisations have appropriate safeguards in place."

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