The U.K. Parliament became the latest Western government to be targeted in a cyber attack Friday. Parliamentary officials said the attack was aimed at all parliamentary email accounts and hackers sought to identify weak passwords.
It prompted parliament to temporarily block all remote access to the email accounts of MPs, members of the House of Lords and parliamentary staff. More than 10,000 Westminster staff were told to change their passwords after the “sustained and determined” effort.
Those responsible for Friday’s attack have not been identified, but a British security official told The Times the attack appeared to have been "state sponsored."
Last year’s attack on DNC email servers was the work of Russian state backed hackers, U.S. intelligence agencies declared, while only last month the U.K’s National Health Service was targeted by hackers from North Korea, according to British security officials.
The attack follows reports of cabinet ministers’ passwords and email addresses being for sale online by Russian hackers selling a haul of stolen data.