A spokesperson from the Labour Party in the United Kingdom has confirmed that the party’s digital platforms suffered a massive DDoS attack due to which its security systems were blocked.
The attack occurred only a few weeks before the General Elections due on December 12, 2019, however, it is also claimed that none of the data was compromised in a rather sophisticated attack. The National Cyber Security Center has been notified about the attack.
“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.”
As per the Labour Party sources, the IT department immediately thwarted the attack and secured its systems, which is why attackers couldn’t steal data. The hack attack affected the campaign activities of the party slowing them down for some time but all the systems are back online and operating normally.
The head of party campaigns Niall Sookoo issued the following statement after the attack:
“Yesterday afternoon our security systems identified that, in a very short period of time, there were large-scale and sophisticated attacks on Labour party platforms which had the intention of taking our systems entirely offline. Every single one of these attempts failed due to our robust security systems and the integrity of all our platforms and data was maintained. I would like to pay tribute to all the teams at Labour HQ who identified this risk and acted quickly to protect us.”
However, as of now the source of the attack hasn’t been confirmed or revealed and it is also unclear which digital platforms were targeted by cybercriminals. What we do know is that a non-state actor might possibly be involved while the attack occurred on Monday and by Tuesday morning the networks and digital systems of the Labour Party were restored.
Yet, on Twitter, the BBC’s Rory Cellan-Jones claimed that Labour has detected “tens of millions of attacks – mostly originating from Russia and Brazil.”
One Labour source tells me their staff have detected “tens of millions of attacks – mostly originating from Russia and Brazil”
— Rory Cellan-Jones (@ruskin147) November 12, 2019
Moreover, the election and campaigning related digital platforms were mainly attacked by cybercriminals using a DDoS (distributed denial of service) in which the incoming traffic flooding the victim originates from many different sources. This effectively makes it impossible to stop the attack simply by blocking a single source.
According to web records, the Labour Party’s digital platforms are handled by Cloudflare, which also offers DDoS protection. Nevertheless, lately, there has been a surge in DDoS attacks for instance; Amazon Web Service (AWS) was hit by a series of DDoS attacks that lasted 8 hours.