News | Published November 13 2019

Labour targeted by two cyber attacks in two days

The Labour Party’s digital operation has been targeted by two cyber attacks in two days.

The party revealed on Monday that its systems had gone down in a “sophisticated and large-scale” cyber attack.

The website went down for a second time yesterday afternoon.

It’s unclear how sophisticated the cyber attack was, but according to The Guardian, the party’s digital systems were subject to a distributed denial of service (DDoS).

These attacks overwhelm servers with requests to bring them down.

A Labour spokeswoman said: “We have ongoing security processes in place to protect our platforms, so users may be experiencing some differences. We are dealing with this quickly and efficiently."

The initial attack has been reported to the National Cyber Security Centre and Labour sent messages to campaigners telling them what happened and explaining why the systems were working slowly.

A party spokeswoman said: “We have experienced a sophisticated and large-scale cyber-attack on Labour digital platforms. We took swift action and these attempts failed due to our robust security systems. The integrity of all our platforms was maintained and we are confident that no data breach occurred.

“Our security procedures have slowed down some of our campaign activities, but these were restored this morning and we are back up to full speed. We have reported the matter to the National Cyber Security Centre.”

A National Cyber Security Centre spokesman said the Labour Party followed the correct procedure and notified them swiftly of Monday's cyber attack. It added that the attack was not successful and the incident “is now closed”.

DDoS attacks vary in size and sophistication. Cloudflare, the technology company employed by Labour to protect its systems, describes them as a “primary concern in Internet security”.

CloudFlare’s website reads: “In a distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS), multiple devices are used to overwhelm a target server with requests and take web applications offline.” 

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Authored by

Joshua Sandiford
Junior Political Editor
November 13 2019

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