Full Version: "Not The Russians" - British MPs Blame Iran For "Brute Force" Hack
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Zero Hedge

"Not The Russians" - British MPs Blame Iran For "Brute Force" Hack

<p>Yet another purported example of Russia-linked hackers infiltrating the email accounts of powerful government officials <span id="cke_bm_454S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><u><strong><span id="cke_bm_454E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_455S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span>has been conclusively debunked.</strong></u></p>
<p>The <a href="">Guardian </a>is reporting that a June incident where the accounts of dozens of UK ministers of parliament were infiltrated by shadowy hackers has been traced back to Iran. The UK intelligence community&rsquo;s initial conclusion &ndash; that the attacks originated in Russia &ndash; has been refuted by an as-yet-unpublished report on the incident compiled by British intelligence.</p>
<p>Indeed, the intelligence community&rsquo;s initial assumption appears to be another example of investigators jumping to a conclusion before a thorough analysis of the evidence has been completed. In a way, it echoes the response by several US states last month to the revelation that hackers had attempted to compromise their voting systems.<strong> Some states, including <a href="">California and Wisconsin, </a>apparently assumed the attacks were linked to Russia, until DHS informed them that it had found no evidence to support this conclusion.</strong></p>
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<p><u><strong>The June 23 cyberattack affected the accounts of dozens of MPs, including Prime Minister Theresa May and several senior other senior ministers. </strong></u>The network that was compromised is used by every MP for interactions with constituents, the <a href="">Guardian </a>reported.</p>
<p>Initially, UK intelligence determined that hackers had attempted to gain access to accounts protected by weak passwords &ndash; despite repeated warnings to choose strong, hard-to-crack passwords.</p>
<p>An anonymous &ldquo;security source&rdquo; cited by the <a href="">Guardian </a>said the hackers used unsophisticated &ldquo;brute force&rdquo; attacks where the hackers use specifically designed programs to test out hundreds of thousands of different passwords combinations. <strong>&ldquo;It was a brute-force attack. It appears to have been state-sponsored. <u>The nature of cyber-attacks means it is notoriously difficult to attribute an incident to a specific actor.&rdquo;</u></strong></p>
<p>Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen added that the attack &ldquo;absolutely&rdquo; could leave some people open to blackmail. &ldquo;Constituents want to know the information they send to us is completely secure,&rdquo; he said.</p>
<p>Initially, suspicion had fallen upon foreign governments such as Russia and North Korea, both of which have been accused of orchestrating previous hacking attempts in the UK.</p>
<p>Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, said the incident reinforced the notion that MPs need to take extra precaution when securing their data.</p>
<p>&ldquo;We know that our public services are attacked, so it is not at all surprising that there should be an attempt to hack into parliamentary emails,&rdquo; he said. <strong>&ldquo;And it&rsquo;s a warning to everybody, whether they are in parliament or elsewhere, that they need to do everything possible to maintain their own cybersecurity.&rdquo;</strong></p>
<p>Given the furor that erupted after DHS ordered US government agencies to immediately remove security software designed by Russia-based firm Kaspersky Labs, the revelation about Iran&rsquo;s involvement in the UK hacks should give intelligence agencies &ndash; not to mention lawmakers who seemingly blame Russia for every incidence of cyber meddling uncovered by US intelligence &ndash; pause. <strong>After the WSJ reported that Kaspersky&rsquo;s software was essentially being leveraged by the Russian government to create an international spy network, <a href="">German intelligence </a>announced that they had found no evidence to support this claim. </strong></p>
<p>And while many have blamed Russia-linked hackers for last year&rsquo;s hack of DNC emails, including emails sent by Hillary Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta, Wikileaks&rsquo; <a href="">Julian Assange</a> is reportedly offering President Donald Trump conclusive evidence that he says would debunk this claim.</p>
<p>However, Chief of Staff John Kelly has rebutted one Congressman&rsquo;s attempts to bring the deal to President Trump<strong>. But as the multiple investigations into whether Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government to sway the election in the president&rsquo;s favor have apparently hit a wall, Assange&rsquo;s evidence might be the key to silencing these suspicions, which have cast an unsubstantiated pall of illegitimacy over Trump&rsquo;s first term in office.</strong><br />&nbsp;</p>

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