Foreign cyber attackers tried to hack into police and council IT systems after Salisbury poisonings

Mail Online | 7/3/2019 | Ed Riley For Mailonline
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Foreign cyber attackers tried to hack police and council computers immediately after the Salisbury novichok poisonings.

Up to 90,000 attacks a day were launched in the days after the assassination attempt after Sergei Skripal was targeted by the nerve agent in March 2018.

Wiltshire - Council - 'well - Hack - Staff

Wiltshire Council has revealed it was subjected to the 'well coordinated' hack which saw staff locked out of email and forced them to stop wearing Bluetooth devices such as Fitbit bracelets in meetings.

The council's executive director Alistair Cunningham said that the IT systems of Wiltshire Police also came under attack because they use the computer resources of the local administration.

Mr - Cunningham - BBC - Defence - Committee

Mr Cunningham told the BBC after a Defence Committee parliamentary meeting: 'As soon as we hit the headlines, the number of cyber attacks on our system increased tenfold.

'They were attempts to break through our firewall, go to the internal network, pick up passwords to employees' email.

Days - Attacks - Day

'In the hottest days, we received 90,000 attacks a day.'

The first attacks on the the council network was so strong it had to urgently ask for help from GCHQ, the BBC reports.

Mr - Cunningham - 'We - Meetings - Setting

Mr Cunningham said: 'We were told to hold meetings in a sterile setting.

'That is, essentially, the old fashioned way - without mobile phones and other high-tech pieces.

'We - Devices - Bluetooth - Example - Pedometers

'We were asked to remove and lock various devices working via Bluetooth; for example pedometers and fitness bracelets.'

British cyber security experts said most of the attacks occurred in the first five months after the poisoning of Sergei Skripal.

Agent - Daughter - Julia - March - Detective

The double agent, and his daughter Julia, were poisoned in March 2018. Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey was left critically ill when he came into contact with the nerve agent as he searched Skirpal's house.

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