Millions of people across the UK could now have their personal information such as address and contact details in the hands of ‘hostile actors’, after the Electoral Commission announced it has fallen victim to a severe cyber hack.
The Electoral Commission is the independent body which oversees elections and regulates political finance in the UK. To vote in an election, the personal details are taken
“Today we announced that we have been the subject of a complex cyber-attack, and our systems were accessed by hostile actors,” the Electoral Commission tweeted this afternoon via its official Twitter account.
“The electoral registers include the name and address of those registered to vote between 2014 and 2022, the names of overseas voters, but not the details of anonymous voters. While much of this data is already in the public domain, we understand the concern this may cause.
“We regret that we could not prevent this cyber-attack and apologise to those affected. We have since made improvements to the security, resilience, and reliability of the Commission’s IT systems.”
Shockingly, the Electoral Commission also announced today that the attack took place in October of last year, meaning that they hid the fact from millions of members of the British public who are likely affected. It is not currently understood what has prompted the EC to make the announcement today.
The hack is likely to affect political parties and millions of people across the UK, with 46,560,452 Parliamentary electoral registrations and 48,844,292 local government electoral registrations being recorded and held by the Electoral Commission as of 2021.
It is uncertain what the hackers intend to do with the information, and the possibility of the hack being carried out by a hostile nation such as Russia or China has not yet been ruled out.
This is a breaking story. VoteWatch will update in due course.