Digital Transformation

Euro Parliament and Commission face co-ordinated snooping attack

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By The Drum Team | Staff Writer

March 31, 2011 | 2 min read

The European Parliament has suspended webmail and enforced other security restrictions after its network fell victim to a cyber-attack.

The European Voice has reported that the assault, which has led to the suspension of webmail access in Strasbourg, comes after attacks against the European Commission and the External Action Service networks.

The Parliament and the Commission are run over separate networks, and the parliamentary network attack was reportedly detected on 24 March, with problems on the Commission's system having emerged two days earlier.

An EU spokesperson commented that the attacks appeared to be co-ordinated, saying to European Voice: "this is not a couple of teenage boys hacking into the institutions", adding that the attackers had penetrated the systems for the purpose of “snooping around”.

Tech website The Register has put forward a popular theory that Chinese state-sponsored hackers may be behind the attack, but has reiterated that this is supported only by circumstantial evidence.

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