A hacker group called the ‘Lizard Squad’ has claimed responsibility for the recent DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack against the Labour Party.
Distributed denial of service is an attack method that can be used to flood a single website or online service with traffic, causing it to crash.
Labour said the “sophisticated and large-scale” cyber attack failed because of the party’s “robust security systems”.
No data was compromised, the party insisted. Lizard Squad, which has previously targeted US singer Taylor Swift, warned there will be more to follow.
The hackers say they will target the family of Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party and of the Opposition. Additionally, the group said that the attack was to demonstrate that “no terrorist-supporting government should be allowed to rule a country”.
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In private messages to The Independent, a member of the group said that more attacks were planned.
“If Labour do win the election, you can expect the whole of the government and Labour websites to go offline,” said the member, who shared screenshots appearing to show a botnet tool used to carry out the DDoS attacks.
“Jeremy Corbyn’s family members’ personal accounts have been compromised and their home internet is under a DDoS attack as we speak.”
According to Jonathan Miles, lead researcher at security firm Mimecast, the group has previously advertised its DDoS-for-hire service on Twitter and “may have been hired by unknown entities to undertake the attack”.
Miles noted that Lizard Squad has a history of being pro-Brexit and anti-Labour, but had in the past typically targeted the gaming industry. Days before the attack the group tweeted comments that included “Leave means Leave” and “F**k off labour supporting freak.”
DDoS attacks due to their nature are hard to trace and although no other group has come forward to claim responsibility it has not been proven that Lizard Squad are the perpetrators. However, cybersecurity experts say that the group’s history of carrying out such attacks is a strong indicator they are in fact the group behind it.
Andras Somkuti, chief executive of encryption firm Netlock, said: “That Lizard squad has taken responsibility for the attack, and no other group has done so, is a strong indication of a credible claim.
“Furthermore, a former member of the Lizard Squad has been arrested for offering DDoS attacks for hire, and the group’s history of executing attacks against Playstation Network and others make it plausible.”
The incident was reported to the National Cyber Security Centre, who said: “The attack was not successful and the incident is now closed.”