Hack prompts European Parliament to shut down public Wi-Fi

Man-in-the-middle attack detected at EU legislative body.

Wi-Fi

The European Parliament has shut down its public wireless network following the detection of a man-in-the-middle attack that could snoop on communications from smartphones and tablets.

The organisation posted a note online detailing how the parliament had been subjected to the attack. It said some individual's inboxes had been compromised and all affected users have already been contacted and asked to change their passwords.

"As a precaution, the Parliament has therefore decided to switch off the public Wi-Fi network until further notice, and we invite you to contact the ITEC Service Desk [IT Desk] in order to install an EP software certificate on all the devices that you use to access the EP IT systems (email, etc)," the note read.

Employees were advised to change passwords and use only known secured wireless networks.

"In the medium term, the Parliament will take additional measures to further secure the communication to the Parliament," it added.

Another post suggests hackers set up an "evil twin" wireless router near the building in Strasbourg and had stolen the usernames and passwords of 14 people at the European Parliament.

IT Pro has contacted the European Parliament to find out when the public wireless network will come back online, but at the time of publication, no response had been received.

Experts said the increasing use of employee's own personal devices is aggravating the problem.

"As more employees bring their own devices into the workplace, businesses face the challenge of enforcing corporate security policies on consumer devices that are not solely controlled by the IT department," said Jason Hart, vice president of cloud solutions at security firm SafeNet. 

"Most employees now store a wide range of both personal and business information on their mobile devices, so this lack of control exposes businesses to serious security vulnerabilities in the form of data breaches and unauthorised access."

Featured Resources

Navigating the new normal: A fast guide to remote working

A smooth transition will support operations for years to come

Download now

Leading the data race

The trends driving the future of data science

Download now

How to create 1:1 customer experiences at scale

Meet the technology capable of delivering the personalisation your customers crave

Download now

How to achieve daily SAP releases

Accelerate the pace of SAP change to support your digital strategy

Download now

Recommended

Your essential guide to internet security
Security

Your essential guide to internet security

23 Sep 2020
How to enable private browsing on any device
privacy

How to enable private browsing on any device

22 Sep 2020
Third-party apps are tracking your WhatsApp activity
social media

Third-party apps are tracking your WhatsApp activity

21 Sep 2020
Ransomwiz lets you test your security with simulated ransomware
ransomware

Ransomwiz lets you test your security with simulated ransomware

21 Sep 2020

Most Popular

16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

16 Sep 2020
16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

16 Sep 2020
Windows Server flaw sparks emergency US gov warning
vulnerability

Windows Server flaw sparks emergency US gov warning

21 Sep 2020