UK MP email passwords stolen and sold on dark web

Houses of Parliament
(Image credit: Pixabay) (Image credit: Pixabay)

Following warnings from MI5 that those involved in the UK electoral process could be targeted by China and Russia in attacks to “manipulate or compromise”, a new study has found that MPs parliamentary email passwords could be up for grabs on the dark web.

Research undertaken by Proton, creator of one of the best password managers, showed that over 200 passwords used by MPs to access parliamentary accounts had been found on the dark web, with one MP having 10 passwords exposed.

The password leakage puts many highly sensitive parliamentary services at risk, with Proton notifying the affected MPs.

Urgent warning

Many people underestimate their vulnerability, but the reality is that everyone is a potential target,” said Eammonn Maguire, head of account security at Proton.

“Vigilance is essential for anyone in the public eye to safeguard both personal and national security, and we call on the new government after the General Election to take cybersecurity seriously, and for all MPs to adopt better account security practices.”

With the UK set to head to the polls on July 4th this year, London Mayor Sadiq Knah, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and Labour Leader Keir Starmer have all had their likeness manipulated in deepfakes, some more obviously fake than others, highlighting the potential for political adversaries or foreign agents to mislead the public and potentially sway the outcome of the election.

A parliamentary spokesperson told CityAM, “Parliament takes cyber security extremely seriously. We have robust measures in place, including providing advice to users to make them aware of the risks and how to manage their digital safety – working closely with our partners in the National Cyber Security Centre.”

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Benedict Collins
Staff Writer (Security)

Benedict has been writing about security issues for close to 5 years, at first covering geopolitics and international relations while at the University of Buckingham. During this time he studied BA Politics with Journalism, for which he received a second-class honours (upper division). Benedict then continued his studies at a postgraduate level and achieved a distinction in MA Security, Intelligence and Diplomacy. Benedict transitioned his security interests towards cybersecurity upon joining TechRadar Pro as a Staff Writer, focussing on state-sponsored threat actors, malware, social engineering, and national security. Benedict is also an expert on B2B security products, including firewalls, antivirus, endpoint security, and password management.