UK political parties at risk from cyber attacks

Virtually no one is paying attention to their emails.

New research has revealed that more than nine in ten (92 per cent) of political parties in the UK, Germany and Norway have no email authentication protection set up. 

As the elections are drawing close in these three countries, both parties and the voters, but also election results themselves – are at risk of being attacked by cyber criminals. 

The report, released by Agari, draws parallels with recently held presidential elections in France, where there has also been talk of cyber attacks on the elections themselves. 

In the UK, the National Centre for Cyber Security, a GCHQ division, has asked candidates for the UK General Election to examine their inboxes for malicious emails. According to Agari, there have been reports of ‘several individuals’ already being targeted. 

Out of all the parties in the UK, just two have email authentication measures set up, but even they aren’t actively blocking unauthenticated messages. The majority of parties in the country are exposing themselves to risk, and Agari says they could use the free protocol DMARC to identify and block malicious emails. 

The report also discusses how candidates politicians, but also all others, can identify signs that they may have already been targeted. 

The talks about cyber criminals affecting elections has started after presidential elections in the US, where it is still being wildly speculated that Russia has been interfering with the process. Even the head of the FBI has been fired over the incident.

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