Parliamentary Smash & Grab

The Guardian reports that last year, parliament nearly fell victim to a sophisticated hacking fraud, which is ironic, given my earlier report, circulated to MPs which warned of just this eventuality.. Experts are convinced that such attacks have the support of Chinese authorities.

The hi-tech industrial espionage involved a series of innocuous-looking emails targeted at secretaries, researchers, parliamentary staff and even MPs themselves. Each one was specifically tailored to the individual who would receive it.

Once opened, these emails tried to download sophisticated spyware that hunts through the recipient's computer and network for potentially valuable documents, which would be automatically sent back to the hackers without the user's knowledge.

Fortunately, the attack, which took place earlier in 2005, was thwarted by parliament's sophisticated internet security system; no sensitive data is thought to have been lost.