"Not The Russians" - British MPs Blame Iran For "Brute Force" Hack

Tyler Durden's picture

Yet another purported example of Russia-linked hackers infiltrating the email accounts of powerful government officials has been conclusively debunked.

The Guardian is reporting that a June incident where the accounts of dozens of UK ministers of parliament were infiltrated by shadowy hackers has been traced back to Iran. The UK intelligence community’s initial conclusion – that the attacks originated in Russia – has been refuted by an as-yet-unpublished report on the incident compiled by British intelligence.

Indeed, the intelligence community’s initial assumption appears to be another example of investigators jumping to a conclusion before a thorough analysis of the evidence has been completed. In a way, it echoes the response by several US states last month to the revelation that hackers had attempted to compromise their voting systems. Some states, including California and Wisconsin, apparently assumed the attacks were linked to Russia, until DHS informed them that it had found no evidence to support this conclusion.

The June 23 cyberattack affected the accounts of dozens of MPs, including Prime Minister Theresa May and several senior other senior ministers. The network that was compromised is used by every MP for interactions with constituents, the Guardian reported.

Initially, UK intelligence determined that hackers had attempted to gain access to accounts protected by weak passwords – despite repeated warnings to choose strong, hard-to-crack passwords.

An anonymous “security source” cited by the Guardian said the hackers used unsophisticated “brute force” attacks where the hackers use specifically designed programs to test out hundreds of thousands of different passwords combinations. “It was a brute-force attack. It appears to have been state-sponsored. The nature of cyber-attacks means it is notoriously difficult to attribute an incident to a specific actor.”

Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen added that the attack “absolutely” could leave some people open to blackmail. “Constituents want to know the information they send to us is completely secure,” he said.

Initially, suspicion had fallen upon foreign governments such as Russia and North Korea, both of which have been accused of orchestrating previous hacking attempts in the UK.

Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, said the incident reinforced the notion that MPs need to take extra precaution when securing their data.

“We know that our public services are attacked, so it is not at all surprising that there should be an attempt to hack into parliamentary emails,” he said. “And it’s a warning to everybody, whether they are in parliament or elsewhere, that they need to do everything possible to maintain their own cybersecurity.”

Given the furor that erupted after DHS ordered US government agencies to immediately remove security software designed by Russia-based firm Kaspersky Labs, the revelation about Iran’s involvement in the UK hacks should give intelligence agencies – not to mention lawmakers who seemingly blame Russia for every incidence of cyber meddling uncovered by US intelligence – pause. After the WSJ reported that Kaspersky’s software was essentially being leveraged by the Russian government to create an international spy network, German intelligence announced that they had found no evidence to support this claim.

And while many have blamed Russia-linked hackers for last year’s hack of DNC emails, including emails sent by Hillary Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta, Wikileaks’ Julian Assange is reportedly offering President Donald Trump conclusive evidence that he says would debunk this claim.

However, Chief of Staff John Kelly has rebutted one Congressman’s attempts to bring the deal to President Trump. But as the multiple investigations into whether Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government to sway the election in the president’s favor have apparently hit a wall, Assange’s evidence might be the key to silencing these suspicions, which have cast an unsubstantiated pall of illegitimacy over Trump’s first term in office.

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Irvingm's picture

Hard to know what is fact or fiction. As mentioned elsewhere ShepWave sees something big happening this week based on their market calls. Gold on a move just like they said again too.  Stocks sell off by Wednesday afternoon I think. 

BullyDog's picture

1984 quote coming up... HAve we always been at war with oceania, eastasisa or was it Iran.

philipat's picture

"The nature of cyber-attacks means it is notoriously difficult to attribute an incident to a specific actor.”

Especially since we now have confirmed proof that the See-Eye-Aye and Hen-Ess-Aye can leave behind "traces" to make it appear that whomever they want to incriminate left "evidence" to "confirm". They are sometimes too cute for their own good?

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

What is Mother Russia must do to gain little respect? We are hack both US and UK election, use mind control on Citizenry, and force America to elect Hillary Clin… What?! Trump is win? Never mind, that must be amateur Iranian hacker that is cause problem.

philipat's picture

@Boris, nice to see you posting again, I always enjoy them. As for Russia, it has become a bit surreal hasn't it. But mostly only in countries that "Confuse Austria with Australia"? Perhaps they might yet even confuse Georgia with Georgia and attack Atlanta instead of Tblisi? In the case of Austria and Australia, I'd prfer they chose Austria  (Not a difficult choice for the Deep State with a newly-minted Right "Nationalist" Government) because I live in Indonesia and Australia is a bit too close, thanks.

The sad thing is that Goebbels has been proved correct again and the US/MSM still appears to have become masters of the art. The latest example that a majority of "Republicans" (Whatever that means) support a first nuclear strike on North Korea. God help us all.

JRobby's picture

Or was ot the CIA putting the "fingerprints" of others on the intrusion?

new game's picture

if in doubt blame the c"eye"ay because they can plant a hack and remain in left field. yup all true, ask jullian of austy...

so therefore it will here to fore, be all fuking bullshit everytyme, alltyme. we live in the age of crypto deception.

instead of a jawbone telling lies it is now a keyboard...

new game's picture

wtf does god bless us all mean? from what i observe, i don't want these blessings...

take your godshit elsewhere...

philipat's picture

God bless us all except new game.....

Bonaparte's picture

Trouble is, philipat, your long distance assessment of reality in the US is right out of DC Comics or some other leftwing-gay-snowflake fantasy.  I can assure you the right in the US knows, the diff between Austria and Australia and the country of Georgia and the US state of Georgia where I live. THE DEEP STATE DID NOT''MINT Right ''Nationalist'' seeing that they spend ever moment trying to block it from all social media and attempts to take back governemnt from the cabal of leftwing loony toons and Harvard trained deep staist idiots in government- fake academia and the lame stream media. The left state is imploding daily and all their instittuions. Even the NFL is now boycotted by their former fans and it is a good thing. A general uprising is brewing in the US against the shadow government, it's deep sate and it's minions of the toady left. The majority is ''woke'' and the bastrds are in for a crushing come uppance, that is moving fast,  trust me. 

philipat's picture

"It's difficult to discuss things seriously with people who confuse Austria for Australia"

-V. Putin

Obviously you would have a problem with him because your head is so far up your ass with all the propoganda you have so willingly absorbed. And FYI, my politics is to the right of centre but with a focus on the truth. Not so common in the USSA.

SoDamnMad's picture

Boris, come clean and confess immediately or we will have get tough. You got all of us on ZH to run out and defame Hillary so that Trump would win.  Putin sent you a container load of Russian Standard and Beluga caviar. We know the truth. We have been through your trash and counted the empty vodka bottles.  Now if you don't confess we will take the extreme measure ... and report you to CNN and ruin your life.

land_of_the_few's picture

If it's a webmail login then it seems probably schoolkids anywhere could do it. Lame passwords and no other login method perhaps? They were told to use good passwords but no doubt, given human nature and laziness, they didn't bother.

opport.knocks's picture

There are very simple algorithms to force strong passwords. I cannot believe the Home Secretary did not make them mandatory at the highest levels.

PT's picture

Before I even bother to get technical, make sure your passwords are at least 8 characters long and it takes at least ten seconds before you can make a second attempt and that should cut down the number of brute-force cyber attacks significantly, unless your password is aaaaabcd or zzzzzyxw.

Again, I have no sympathy for govts that get hacked.  It means either their IT security are a bunch of dumb-asses or perhaps they simply shouldn't put all their sensitive info on a computer after all.  Govts get hacked because they allow it to happen, with only the thinnest veneer between "allowing" it to happen and making it happen.

Govt got hacked = dog ate my homework.

philipat's picture

My point was that False flags are now demonstrably as common in hacks as with other events (Vegas?). And I also note that certain "Highly intelligent contenders for POTUS" didn't even bother with passwords or ANY other cyber-defences I mean, you know, you can always wipe everything...like with a cloth or something? I mean, for fuck's sake....?

PT's picture

At a guess:  "Remembering passwords is hard.  Who has time for that?  I pay my minions to remember passwords for me."


"That nice Mr Awan guy said he'd look after all my passwords for me" ...

philipat's picture

I could recommend some very good Password Management programs that only require a one time effort and some of them are free. But, yes, one does have to wonder at the stupidity of some, perhaps most if that is your point? My point is it makes no diference to the alphabet Agencies; they can ALWAYS hack anything and make it appear that someone else of their chosing did it. It makes no difference how "good your password is" because supercomputers can crack anything eventually, although with "backdoors" that usually isn't even necessary.

Bonaparte's picture

Thanks for the secure password test site. All entries apparently are sold instantly to buyers who are now making orders for new dung huts in Nigeria. 

JRobby's picture

Taxpayers lose. GOVT employees keep their jobs.

lntr's picture

sheepwave been making some really good market calls.  The fact that they have been the only analyst to catch the moves in gold speaks volumes. Stocks have not really been volatile but gold swings have been really good for active traders who read shepwave. 

researchfix's picture

The problem nowadays are the many villains. Two years ago Vladimir Putin was on stage alone, with Assad in a side role. Then he was joined by Erdogan, Kim, Duterte, Maduro, Xi, Iran (note, here it is the country, because every name is too difficult to spell for a correct demonization).

It kind of neutralizes the effect of the bad men agenda.


This week US announced it might be breaking it's Nuclear deal with Iran and suddenly Irans a problem for the UK. Will these politicians ever grow up?

lntr's picture

All just a big game to these people.  Truth means nothing.

Scar Bro's picture

Oil means everything. Those huge Iranian oilfields, discovered by the British, were a huge loss to the empire when the Iranians locked them out.

Unlike the Arabs Iranians saw clearly what the game was and wouldn't put up with a stooge ruling over them just so the West could steal all the oil. If there was a nation of true patriots it would have to be Iran. They sacrificed their young democracy for an Islamic lock down because they identified the bigger threat was from 'freedom' (ie. freedom to be raped by the Western jews). What would you choose?

a)Democracy but you must have a Central bank? 

b)Islamic law or in our case, Christian law (I mean the real Christianity that despises the jewish ways)

In hindsight, it would be b) everytime.

BennyBoy's picture


UK wants in on the upcoming spoils in Iran.


researchfix's picture

"UK wants in on the upcoming spoils in Iran. Again."

It could become the kind of spoils they don´t want at all.

researchfix's picture

UK was about to send carriers to North Korea for same reasons. In last minute they found out about the missing airplanes. But I upvote for bravery.

TheytookERjobs's picture

British mp's are ran by the reptilian Royal family. I'm ussually right about these kind of things 

Lore's picture

EVIDENCE, please.

BennyBoy's picture


Like Trump and Russia, allegations, accusations and assertions require no evidence.

Just a compliant, suck up press.

PT's picture

Iranians hacked my bank account.  I had a billion dollars in it yesterday but now it's gone.  They even hacked all my old statements to cover up their nefarious deeds.  I can prove it because none of my old statements has a billion dollars on it any more.  What's worse is that last year the Russians hacked my other billion dollar bank account and the year before that the North Koreans hacked my other other billion dollar bank account and somewhere in between the Syrians hacked my other other other billion dollar bank account.  Man, I just can't catch a break.

I hope the Chinese hackers don't learn about my other other other other billion dollar bank account.  I'll be really pissed if they do.

Son of Loki's picture

No crimes here.


they were simply "excessively careless" thats all.

Bonaparte's picture

The Clinton Crime Family Foundation hacked my account too. I saw Hitlery hacking nearly everyday during the election. So much so, she had a large back man zapping here during speeches with an Eppipen to shut her fat ass up.

Juliette's picture

Nuke the island monkeys!


"The nature of cyber-attacks means it is notoriously difficult to attribute an incident to a specific actor.”

Translation - "We can blame it on whoever we want!"

GreatUncle's picture

They demand a policy of no encrypted communication for the public as stated by the Home Secretary Amber Rudd recently "so we can spy on you" but then bitch and moan about things like this.

Then Liam Fox say MP's need to reinforce their cyber security but the ordinary person will only be allowed to use already back doored encryption.

After that convenience to blame it on a state you want to go to war with ... I mean Iran was on the list.

Criminals the lot and if anything all their communications should be public to prevent further criminality.


NuYawkFrankie's picture

Perfidious Albion desperately trying to hoodwink Thick Brits into aligning with ZOG-USSA in attacking Iran

Thordoom's picture

Interesting that they blame Iran after idiot Trump backed of Nuclear deal. I am sure it is just coincident and that UK is not a lap dog of US.

PT's picture

"They don't believe in North Korean hackers."
"Try Russian hackers."
"They don't believe in Russian hackers either."
"Try Iranian hackers." ...

Actually, we both know it doesn't work like that:

"Country X won't do what we tell them to do."
"Quick, make up a story about Country X hackers."

Bonaparte's picture

WHAT NUKE DEAL ? Iran never agreed to not build nukes and even if they had, there are no inspections of their secret facilitiies. Apparently you are another Obama boob baited cockold.  lol!

BritBob's picture

Iran is a member of the UN C24 decolonisation committee and supports Argentina's mythical Malvinas' claim. So much for the human and democratic rights of the Falkland Islanders and so much for that so-called sovereignty claim:

Falkland Islands – The Usurpation (1 pg): https://www.academia.edu/34838377/Falkland_Islands_The_Usurpation


You ever heard of a territory being taken illegally in the 19th century? 

indygo55's picture

"You ever heard of a territory being taken illegally in the 19th century? "

Yeah, the american colonialists took lots of territory from the natives in the USA. We're not going back on that last I heard. We did give 'em some land on which they are allowed to build casinos. Now many of them are rich. 

White Devil's picture

The natives that were squatting on US soil were no different than the wild animals that roamed the land, except the wild animals were useful and delicious.

Bonaparte's picture

The colonists never took anything from the natives. Most land was sold, traded or abandoned by a native population who killed, stole and robbed fellow natives in endless tribal wars. Also most ''natives'' did not recognize land ownership, other than you owned it long enough to use it and move around to some other site as condtions of weather, war and whim demanded .


HenryHall's picture

The native Americans had no concept of land ownership. The thought the idea of selling the land made about as much sense as a concept of selling the sky, and they were willing to sell the sky also!

It simply did not occur to them that the land buyers were not buying the land to use it - they were buying the land to stop others from using it. Most obviously to stop the natives from using it to hunt on. That what American does best, has always done best: ruin the lives of other people, stir up wars were no war needs to exist.

any_mouse's picture

They also had no wheel nor the concept of fractional reserve lending. Wait, what was the point?

any_mouse's picture

Don't leave out tobacco sales.

The Natives are turning the vices that the White man imported back on the Man for profit.

Rich doesn't make 'em happy down on the rez.

When is Simon Black going to explore buying tribal membership and not moving out of CONUS, instead moving onto a Rez.