Labour Party officials have revealed that its digital systems experienced a “large-scale” cyber attack from an unknown source.
A spokeswoman for the opposition party said the attack failed because of the platform’s “robust security systems”. The attack, which took place on Monday, has been reported by officials to the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).
Labour has not revealed which of its digital platforms were targeted. However, it is understood some of them are believed to be election and campaigning tools, which could contain voter details.
A spokesperson for the Labour Party said: “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.
“Our security procedures have slowed down some of our campaign activities, but these were restored this morning and we are back up to full speed. We have reported the matter to the National Cyber Security Centre.”
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A message has been sent out to campaigners to make them aware of the incident and to explain why some of the systems were operating slowly on Monday.
In the message, the party’s head of campaigns, Niall Sookoo, wrote: “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.”
Labour’s digital platforms were reportedly assailed by Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. Initial findings indicate the hack was executed by a “non-state-actor”, according to Whitehall sources. A Labour source said that attacks came from computers in Russia and Brazil.
The Labour Party is a customer of Cloudflare, which provides DDoS protection to a large portion of the internet. DDoS attacks, when successful, will result in enforced downtime, as the target waits for the attack to end, or secures extra bandwidth to deal with the new traffic.
US-based Cloudflare boasts that it has 15 times the network capacity of the biggest DDoS attack ever recorded.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the cyber-attack was “very serious” and also “suspicious” because it took place during an election campaign.”If this is a sign of things to come, I feel very nervous about it,” he said.