An MP has shot a particularly ludicrous bullet through years of government, expert and industry cybersecurity advice.
Forget Kaspersky and its alleged Kremlin links; forget WannaCry and North Korea: Tory Nadine Dorries has proudly declared that she shares her parliamentary computer’s login with…whoever wants it, apparently.
Attempting to defend her embattled colleague Damian Green, who is at the centre of a porn-at-work storm, the MP for Mid Bedforshire tweeted: ‘My staff log onto my computer on my desk with my login everyday. Including interns on exchange programmes. For the officer on
@BBCNews just now to claim that the computer on Greens desk was accessed and therefore it was Green is utterly preposterous!!’
Wow. Even the interns on exchange programmes. Hopefully, there haven’t been too many from the Moscow Academy for Higher Infiltration, but that’ll be for the presumably forthcoming inquiry to discern.
The frank, foolish tweet provoked a swift, astonished response. Annie Heath tweeted: ‘I’m both flabbergasted and furious at this. The fear localgov has, the hoops we have to jump through and central gov, who want us to modernise with one hand tied behind our back, have got MPs sharing logins.’
Justin Williams, meanwhile, tweeted that: ‘Oh dear. As an IT person who has worked on security policies for corporations, the first rule of cyber security is NEVER allow another person to use your login and ALWAYS log out even if you are just going for a toilet break. I think your constituents should be alarmed.’
In many places of work (such as in local government, for example) you’re even supposed to take care that your colleagues can’t readily see what’s on your screen, let alone give anybody your login details – yet an MP of the UK’s ruling party seems to be in the dark about such matters.
Dorries was attempting to protect the honour of Green, the First Secretary of State, who has been accused of using his parliamentary PC to access pornography several years ago. That story is odd enough in itself, but Dorries’ backfired bid to clear Green’s name with the ‘could have been anyone’ defence will surely only add fuel to the squalid fire.
While we’re on the subject, only yesterday we released an Inform Briefing on cybersecurity, offering expert advise on many FREE steps you can take to protect your digital channels. Click here to access it.
Attention, state hackers! Are you tired of fighting through layers of complex security as you attempt to bring down the UK? Well, sweat over code no more! Simply apply for a role at your local MP’s constituency office and ask them if you could just pop onto their PC for five minutes to play Minesweeper.