Sometimes, the story is not the event, but those who seek to spin it for their own ends, and so it was with the cyber attack on the Labour Party’s computer systems yesterday. That there was an attack is not in doubt, nor that it was a serious one. But there were still those ready and willing to pretend it either didn’t happen, or that it was Labour’s own fault.
As Sky News has reported, “Hackers are targeting Labour's digital platforms with what leader Jeremy Corbyn described as a ‘very serious cyber attack’ … Corbyn said the Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks were ‘something one is very worried about’ He said that 'so far as we're aware, none of our information was downloaded’ but the attack had been reported to the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) … ‘As to who undertook the attack, we're looking into all that at the moment,’ he added”.
So who would like to volunteer for a dead giveaway moment? Step forward Pippa Crerar, formerly Bozo booster at the Evening Standard. “I wonder if they're trying to distract from something”. Yeah, did’t really happen! Oh, and Norman Smith from the BBC: “To be honest...my computer is blooming slow too...... and the printers are hopeless”.
Not biased at all, honest. But the real giveaway came from the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, who wanted anyone still awake to know that it was all Labour’s fault. “Has Labour Really Been Hit By ‘Large-Scale And Sophisticated’ Cyber Attack?” asked The Great Guido, adding the knowing sneer of “Cyber Attack Or Incompetence?” Yeah, they’re rubbish, that Labour lot!
Then the disdain was trowelled on. “Today was the deadline for Labour CLPs to get their freepost printing done. Could it be that a last-minute scramble has overwhelmed Labour’s servers? Overnight this has somehow mutated into a ‘sophisticated and large-scale cyber attack on its digital platforms. True a lot of people logging on can seem like a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack or it could just be a lot of people trying to log on before the deadline. Guido is betting on the latter”. And there was more.
“Bets on how long it takes for them to blame Russia … Seven Labour incumbent candidates, plus Paul Mason, have now claimed this attack was caused by foreign interference despite the NCSC effectively rejecting such a conspiracy”. Who mentioned Russia, apart from someone whose blog took adverts from, er, the Russian Embassy?
So now it was a conspiracy! Except the Fawkes massive was plain flat wrong, as the BBC then reported: “Labour is reportedly suffering a second cyber-attack after saying it successfully thwarted one on Monday”. The Guardian added that “Labour has not said who it suspects is behind the attacks, but said it was confident its security systems ensured there was no data breach”. So no claim that it was Russia, then.
Cyber attacks during election campaigns are serious, and should worry everyone, whatever their political stripe. That a former Bozo booster and a senior employee of the BBC have pretended otherwise is not a good look for either of them.
But the Fawkes rabble saying “It didn’t happen” and “It’s nothing to do with those nice people who advertise with us” takes the biscuit. Oh what a giveaway!
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