British MPs compromised

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Olivia Storey

Private information that belongs to British politicians and top officials is reportedly being traded on Russian hacking sites.

Russian hackers have reportedly been trading the email addresses and passwords of British Cabinet Ministers, ambassadors and senior police officers.

There were tens of thousands of credentials that were being sold on the Russian hacker sites, but now they have been made freely available to anyone wishing to compromise them.

An investigation had shown that two lists of stolen credentials were put up for sale and included 1,000 British MPs and parliamentary staff, 7,000 police employees and over 1,000 Foreign Office officials.

Mark James, ESET IT Security Specialist, discusses why this news was not made public knowledge and the best steps to take in securing your credentials.

“With so many breaches happening so frequently, we can be forgiven for briefly glancing over the news when we read of another one happening to another large well known company.

“The problem of course is not always the current hack or breach; it's the fact that this small amount of data could be the next piece of the jigsaw in your online profile.

“Once that profile is large enough to be useful it may be offered for sale on the web.

“This data could then be used to access other accounts.

“If you reuse passwords or if its access to email accounts, then they now have an excellent base to start a targeted phishing attack that would seem to come from someone you know or already do business with.

“We encounter spam and phishing attacks on a daily basis and most end up in the bin but if we recognise the sender then the level trust is elevated and that could now be one step away from being a victim. 

“As always try where possible to never use the same password twice, use a pass phrase rather than password and make it unique.

“Password managers are a good way to protect your digital logins.” 


Do you make use of a password manager? Let us know on Twitter @ESETUK.


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