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UK lawmakers hit by cyber attack preventing them from accessing emails

UK lawmakers hit by cyber security attack that's preventing them from accessing their emails when not at Westminster.
UK lawmakers hit by cyber security attack that's preventing them from accessing their emails when not at Westminster. GETTY IMAGES

The British parliament has been hit by a cyber attack that is preventing lawmakers from accessing their emails when not in Westminster, politicians and media reports said on Saturday.

The Telegraph newspaper said lawmakers were alerted to the hack on Friday and were unable to access their email accounts on Saturday.

Chris Rennard, a member of the Liberal Democrat party in the upper House of Lords, said on Twitter: “Cyber security attack on Westminster, Parliamentary emails may not work remotely, Text urgent messages.”

The BBC quoted a spokeswoman at the House of Commons as saying the lack of email access was due to the steps being taken to manage the issue.

“The Houses of Parliament have discovered unauthorized attempts to access parliamentary user accounts,” the spokeswoman said.

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“We are continuing to investigate this incident and take further measures to secure the computer network, liaising with the National Cyber Security Centre.

Systems were in place to protect member and staff accounts, she said.

Neither the House of Commons nor the Cyber Security Centre could immediately be reached for comment.

Britain’s National Health Service was hit by a massive ransomware attack in May which crippled the computer system and forced some hospitals to turn away patients.