Cyber SecurityNews

UK must be prepared for election interference

Britain’s parliamentary committee on the national security strategy has raised concerns about threats to the upcoming general election in a letter sent to the prime minister on Thursday. The committee urged him to use the final two days of Parliament to ensure necessary protections are in place.

Dame Margaret Beckett, the committee’s chair, stated that she felt compelled to write and publish the letter because “it is not clear if members of the public fully understand how these threats will manifest and what this means for the UK, its democracy, and for them as individuals.”

This development follows Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s unexpected announcement on Wednesday of a general election to be held on July 4, a date much earlier than previously anticipated.

Soon after an election is called in the United Kingdom, the government and civil service enter a pre-election period of sensitivity, previously known as “purdah.” During this period, ministers and their departments are prohibited from making official announcements that could impact the election campaign.

The letter warned that hostile actors might attempt to “undermine trust in electoral processes through cyberattacks targeted at our institutions, including ransomware attacks.” This concern had been previously highlighted in the committee’s inquiry into the government’s response to the ransomware crisis.

The NCSC has previously advised that the personal accounts of political candidates and election officials, in addition to their official work accounts, are “almost certainly attractive targets for cyber actors looking to carry out espionage operations.”

The British government has formally attributed malicious activities targeting British institutions and individuals to hackers working for Russian intelligence services or those affiliated with China.

Luke Simmonds

Blogger at

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