LAX CYBER SECURITY is the name of the game in Conservative offices as apparently it’s common practice for to leave their PCs unlocked for any Tamara, Digby or Hugo to use.
Or at least that’s according to Conservative MP Nadine Dorries and fellow Tory MPs, who claim to share their login details or leave their computers unlocked for their staff and interns to use, seemingly flying in the face of good cyber security practice.
The revelation came to light when Dorries jumped to the defence of alleged porn fan, Tory colleague Damian Green, who has been accused of accessing pornography on his House of Commons computer, effectively his place of work.
Now most of us know that such behaviour is a no-no, but Dorries pointed out that the flagrant disregard to PC protection means that anyone in Green’s staff could’ve accessed porn on his computer.
“My staff log onto my computer on my desk with my login everyday. Including interns on exchange programmes,” Dorries 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 !!
— Nadine Dorries (@NadineDorries) December 2, 2017
She added that is was “utterly preposterous” to assume it was Green who had accessed the porn on his own computer. We like to imagine Dorries thinks everything in life is a complete coincidence and that there’s smoke without fire.
Of course, such tweeting caused the Twittersphere to raise a collective eyebrow and note that it’s absolute nonsense and a breach of the law to take such a blasé approach to cybersecurity.
One person claiming to work in local government said it was a “fundamental DPA security breach” and that it is not the approach public sector workers are encouraged to take.
For the record, Nadine, it is a fundamental DPA security breach to have staff access to a Parliamentary account in this way. I work in local govt it is drummed into us from day one regarding client security and access to personal data. You’re breaking the law. @NadineDorries https://t.co/zh6l3VJbuy
— jilletteblue (@jilletteblue) December 3, 2017
But unlike rats fleeing a sinking ship, some Tory MPs came to Dorries’ defence, also noting they share their Parliamentary logins with their staff, noting the practice is extremely common.
We’d like to point out to these paragons of password prattery that the House of Commons handbook states staff should not share their passwords.
And rather brilliantly the Information Commissioner’s Office tweeted in a semi-sinister manner that the tweeting MPs could now be under the ICO’s scrutiny.
We’re aware of reports that MPs share logins and passwords and are making enquiries of the relevant parliamentary authorities. We would remind MPs and others of their obligations under the Data Protection Act to keep personal data secure. https://t.co/FLPeP8M7c8
— ICO (@ICOnews) December 4, 2017
Yet Tory MP Nick Boles said he forgets his password so often that he relies on other people knowing it. Sorry citizens of Grantham, Stamford, Bourne and the surrounding villages, but it would appear you have voted for a potential simpelton with a goldfish memory to be your representative in the House of Commons… good luck with that.
I certainly do. In fact I often forget my password and have to ask my staff what it is.
— Nick Boles MP (@NickBoles) December 3, 2017
But this smug Tory tosspot tweeting highlights that there are swathes of Conservative politicians that haven’t a clue about technology. That’s despite being part of a government claiming to be on the side of UK tech, champions cybersecurity and declares to know what’s best when it comes to encryption.
Despite Dorries noting that she doesn’t have access to sensitive government materials as a mere backbencher, it’s blindingly obvious that Dorries and her cohorts haven’t the foggiest about insider cyber security threats.
We like the idea of a Labour supporter infiltrating Dorries’ office and sending gifs of Jeremy Corbin to Theresa May or sending David Davis a link to a video with the subject “OMG look at this great clip of how Brexit WILL work“.
The scope for setting up MP for major faux pas seems almost limitless, though they do well enough on their own.
But again, it’s disturbing to not how blasé these MPs are begin about basic cyber security when 2017 has seen cyber attacks like WannaCry wreak havoc with public sector systems, notably the NHS.
So much for “things can only get better”……. µ
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