European Parliament bounces back from suspected cyber attack

A Parliament pokesman says the situation is not related to an attack on the European Commission last week

The European Parliament has resumed normal e-mail service following a suspected cyber attack.

An attack on the Parliament's systems is thought to have begun on March 24, two days after the European Commission and the European Union's External Action Service detected a sustained and targeted cyber attack on their own systems.

However, the attack on the Parliament was not in the same league as that on the Commission, a Parliament spokesman said Friday.

"Following the attack on the Commission, our IT services started looking very hard at our own system. They noticed that there were abnormal levels of webmail activity, particularly overnight, when we wouldn't expect such activity," he said.

As a precaution webmail and some other external services were shut down and staff were told on Monday to change their passwords while an investigation was carried out. "The results of that investigation show that nothing was compromised," said the spokesman. "The scale of the actual hacking problem was not dissimilar to that faced by any large organization. The high levels of activity we were seeing were due to the way in which some mobile devices connect to our webmail."

The Parliament's IT services are still monitoring the situation. The Parliament and the Commission run on totally separate networks and it seems unlikely that the two attacks were linked given the differences in scale and focus. There is still concern that professional, systematic hackers with a clear agenda are behind the Commission attack but this is not the case in the Parliament.

A separate e-mail problem in Parliament on Wednesday brought the e-mail system to a halt for three hours. The spokesman said that this was nothing to do with any attack and was simply a glitch that has now been fixed.

Follow Jennifer on Twitter at @BrusselsGeek or email tips and comments to jennifer_baker@idg.com.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags intrusionGovernment use of ITapplicationssecurityeuropean commissione-mailsoftwaregovernmentEuropean Parliament

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jennifer Baker

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?