Labour Party Suffer Cyber Attack: is Russia meddling in General Election?

The Labour Party have disclosed that a sophisticated and large-scale cyber-attack has occurred across its digital platforms.

The party, currently in the midst of its General Election campaign, has stated that the attacked failed because of its robust security measures, and as such, no data breach has occurred because of the hack.

A Labour source claimed that many of the servers behind the DDOS attacks that attempted to flood the system originated from Russia and Brazil.

This poses the question, is Russia attempting to tamper with the UK General Election?

Ray Walsh, Digital Privacy Expert at ProPrivacy comments:

Revelations that the Labour party has suffered a sophisticated and large-scale cyberattack attempt may be a sign that attacks are going to ramp up in the run-up to polling day on December 12th.

This is the second time that the Labour party has suffered an attack in the last six months, and there are growing concerns that hackers may continue to attempt to influence the elections using criminal methods.

According to the party’s official statement, on this occasion, the cyberattack was thwarted thanks to robust security implementations.

Despite allegations that the cyberattack originated in Brazil and Russia, it is worth bearing in mind that hackers are often known to use obfuscation methods and proxies to conceal their real location. As a result, it is possible that any attacks originating in Brazil were actually carried out by Russian hackers also.

As a result, it is important not to jump to conclusions, and to wait for the attacks to be carefully examined by cybersecurity experts for digital fingerprints that may or may not implicate perpetrators located in the Kremlin, or elsewhere.

Like a previous cyberattack in July – where the labour press team twitter account was hacked and attempted to portray the Labour party as institutionally racist and antisemitic – this attack is a reminder of the potential for cyberattacks to be used to alter the natural course of an election, by disseminating information that potentially harms a political candidate’s image with the electorate.

During the run-up to the 2016 US Presidential elections, a hacker going by the pseudonym Guccifer 2.0 shared documents – including huge amounts of disinformation – following the hack of the Democratic National Committee.

Those events led to huge amounts of publicity and directly influenced voters to support Donald Trump. These events are a reminder of how hacking and data leaks can be used to influence an election, even if, potentially, no sensitive data is stolen at all.


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