MP’s password gaffe

Written by:
Lucie Sadler
Date Posted:
8 December 2017

As if they haven’t done enough damage already.

This week, Conservative MP Nadine Dorries revealed on Twitter (clever) that she lets staff members access her computer and know her government passwords. So, the ‘House of Commons Staff Handbook on Information Security Responsibilities’ clearly went to good use then…

Password sharing
There’s no denying that most MPs are clueless about tech. And it seems that a lot of other MPs are into password sharing too. ‘Shouting passwords from desks’ is a popular pastime at Westminster. Everyone knew Dorries’s passwords – from her staff, to visiting interns. She apparently had so much online correspondence to work through that staff had to access to her computer to offload the work.

Simple password security – surely it’s just common sense? There clearly needs to be the most basic level of IT training given to government employees – security 101.

Not the first tine…
The government already have egg on their face from earlier in the year where many MPs were left unable to access their e-mail accounts after a cyber attack. The attack on the House of Commons caused uproar, and ironically accounts were vulnerable due to use of weak passwords.

The conservative government has proved time and time again that it has a dangerously regressive approach to technology. Be it Amber Rudd’s warped views on encryption, or Theresa May’s totalitarian vision with her Snooper’s Charter. Nobody is safe.

Human error
What is most concerning is the human link, the threat that cyber security bods have been banging on about for years. It only takes one uninformed person to click a link, ‘accidentally’ delete a file, or reveal a password. Surely MPs should understand that their data is highly sought after by hackers, too.

We’re sure that there’ll be more scandal coming from the House of Commons soon enough anyway – only for it to be covered up and mistakes repeated.




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