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UK Parliament Investigates Cyberattack on User Accounts

A spokeswoman for the House of Commons said the incident affected lawmakers and other parliamentary staff's ability to log on its system and use their emails

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    UK Parliament Investigates Cyberattack on User Accounts
    AP
    Police detain a man outside the House of Commons, London, Friday June 16, 2017. Scotland Yard said the man - aged in his 30s - was arrested on suspicion of possessing a knife. there were no injuries. Friday's incident comes just months after a man barreled his car into pedestrians on nearby Westminster Bridge and then charged into a Parliament courtyard, stabbing a police officer to death. In this case, security of the perimeter did not appear to be breached.

    British officials were investigating a cyberattack Saturday on the country's Parliament after discovering "unauthorized attempts to access parliamentary user accounts."

    A statement from the House of Commons said that as a precaution, remote email access for members has been disabled in order to protect the network from hackers.

    "As a result, some Members of Parliament (lawmakers) and staff cannot access their email accounts outside of Westminster," it said, adding that IT services at Parliament itself are working normally.

    It was not immediately clear how many people were affected or what the extent of the damage was.

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    An email sent all those affected described a "sustained and determined attack on all parliamentary user accounts in an attempt to identify weak passwords," according to The Guardian newspaper. "These attempts specifically were trying to gain access to our emails."

    Liberal Democrat Chris Rennard said on Twitter that urgent messages should be sent by text message because parliamentary emails may not work remotely.

    The National Cyber Security Center and the National Crime Agency are looking into the incident.

    Liam Fox, Britain's International Trade Secretary, told ITV News that the attack was "a warning to everyone: We need more security and better passwords. You wouldn't leave your door open at night."