Latest News | Labour suffers second cyberattack in two days

According to the report from The Guardian on 12th November, we know that the Labour party has faced a second cyber-attack, a day after experiencing what it called a “sophisticated and large-scale” attempt to disrupt its digital systems.

It is understood the party was the subject of a second distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on Tuesday afternoon. Such attacks use “botnets” – networks of compromised computers – to flood a server with requests that overwhelm it.

Labour has not said who it suspects is behind the attacks, but said it was confident its security systems ensured there was no data breach.

Brian Higgins, a security specialist at Comparitech.com, said: “The attacks don’t normally represent any threat to data or information and can be defended against and recovered from quite easily if the victim has robust cybersecurity policies in place. It’s hardly surprising that the Labour party has been targeted given the current political landscape in the UK.”

Discussion

A botnet refers to a group of computers which have been infected by malware and have come under the control of a malicious actor. Botnets can be designed to accomplish illegal or malicious tasks including sending spam, stealing data, ransomware, fraudulently clicking on ads or distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. (Read more)

A DDoS attack is like a traffic jam clogging up with highway, preventing regular traffic from arriving at its desired destination, which is a malicious attempt to disrupt normal traffic of a targeted server, service or network by overwhelming the target or its surrounding infrastructure with a flood of Internet traffic. (Read more)

The notable incident that attracted press attention was a three-week wave of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on numerous Estonian web sites starting on April 27, 2007, which involved a large botnet of approximately 85000 hijacked computers from around 178 countries.

After that, many governments are taking the possibility of nation-sponsored cyber attacks seriously. For instance, UK has set up a cybersecurity operations centre at Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) based in Cheltenham. And Estonia has put their efforts into cybersecurity and defence, setting up ‘digital embassies’ around the world with data mirrored and backed up.

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