Labour Party data breach stems from ransomware cyberattack

Hacked Cybersecurity

At the start of the month, it came to light that a potentially major Labour Party data breach was taking place, reportedly involving a third party suffering from a cyberattack.

Although it is understood that Labour’s own systems were not breached or directly affected by the cyberattack, a third party that stores and processes information for members on behalf of the Party was hit by what was reported to be a ransomware attack. It is thought that the hackers were not targeting Labour directly and appear to have financial motivations behind the attack.

The Labour Party notified members of the data breach and warned them to be wary of being contacted for scams, which could occur via email, text or from calls. We have taken on cases for those affected, so contact the team for help and advice now.

What information is affected by the Labour Party data breach?

When news broke of the Labour Party data breach, it was not yet known exactly what information, if anything, had been affected. All that could be determined was that information supplied by members could have been affected, as this was understood to have been inaccessible as a result of the cyberattack. Whether it had been accessed or exposed was not known at the time of the breach being confirmed.

Sometimes, a ransomware attack can lead to a company being locked out of their systems and unable to access the information they store. This does not mean that the hackers have gained access to it themselves, although in many (perhaps most) circumstances they do. What they normally try to do is force their victim to pay a ransom in order to release the data and systems that they have forcibly locked down and encrypted. It can be quite common for hackers to also threaten to leak information affected by the cyberattack unless the ransom is paid.

How many people could be affected?

The Labour Party data breach could affect hundreds of thousands of members in the event that it is confirmed that information has been, or could be, exposed. Recent data suggests that the Party has membership numbers in the region of 400,000 to 500,000, and it could be that all their details are caught up in the cyberattack.

If this is the case, we could be looking at a substantial breach of potentially personal and private information. The fallout from this could be significant, especially if information is exposed.

What can victims do about the data breach?

We will need to wait to find out if any information potentially caught up in the Labour Party data breach is exposed or misused. If it is, those people whose personal information has been affected could be entitled to pursue a claim for data breach compensation. This could be on the basis of any distress suffered from the loss of control of their personal information. However, we are already taking cases on now.

A victim of a data breach does not have to have suffered any actual financial loss to be able to pursue a claim. That being said, if anyone has and if it is a direct result of a data breach, they could be entitled to recover such losses.

For eligible clients that we are able to represent for a data breach compensation claim, we may also be able to offer No Win, No Fee legal representation.

IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.

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