Politicians have been warned to be on their guard after it emerged they are being targeted by hackers.
The National Cyber Security Centre has issued an alert in the wake of a series of ‘Phishing’ attacks against election candidates and parties.
The warning comes amid fears of Russian meddling in the election on June 8, with intelligence sources having previously raised concerns about the theft of sensitive emails and private polling.
Russian hackers were blamed for a ‘massive’ attack on Emmanuel Macron during the recent French contest, which saw a trove of emails released online.
A letter sent by the NCSC to all candidates standing on June 8 says it has become aware of attempts to ‘gain access to the online accounts of individuals that were MPs before dissolution of parliament and other staff who work in political parties’.
The NCSC says Phishing attackers ‘might send legitimate-looking password reset emails, urgent-sounding messages about financial problems, account change notifications requests, or links to documents that require you to log in with passwords’.
‘The emails are very convincing and could arrive at an individual’s personal or work email account, perhaps even appearing to come from someone known to the recipient,’ the letter adds.
The agency warns: ‘Phishing attacks are likely to continue and may be sent to parliamentary email addresses, prospective parliamentary candidates, and party staff.’
Politicians and their staff are urged to report any thing suspicious, change passwords if they are concerned, and bolster security authentications.
GCHQ called an emergency summit with UK political parties earlier this year after warning that they are at risk of Russian cyber-attacks.
Security agencies now regard protecting the political system from foreign hackers as ‘priority work’.