We have had numerous warnings of election interference from lobbyists, parties from all sides and evidence from large Technology vendors of traffic and breaches. That democracy is under attack from cyberattacks is hardly surprising again to see this.
Is this a foreign adversarial attack that the Muller report exampled in the US 2016 Election or clandestine insiders seeking damage to promote their own agendas targets the politicians and their databases of voters disabling their ability to function damaging fairness of debate and freedom of speech. Moreover, attacks from social media disinformation feeds off from this in an every increasing loud scream of the social echo chamber, manipulating suspectable news media and public alike. It’s a total mess currently with poor regulation and countermeasures to defend against these sophisticated attacks funded often by governments.
From what we have heard so far from the Labour party database attack, this is an attempt to stop the use of the data through a Denial-of-service attack sending massive traffic data to overload the servers.
Its been cited to originate from Russia and Brazil and that Labour had been using countermeasures of a vendor (Cloudfare) to attempt to stall and recover. Often the sources are obfuscated so there is not direct certainty in this, let alone what the actual responses were by the UK Government, all of which would be confidential.
These DDOS attacks can be enormous in the order of multiple Gigabytes or Terabytes per second representing millions of decoy “users” if the adversary has access to massive resources to send overwhelming traffic volumes.
Even with defenses, this requires advanced diversion and network management for the Labour system to get a recover time to maintain access to their data and services. I suspect they may be able to able to recover if this countermeasure system for traffic attacks has been setup well. The early reports suggest this to be a massive traffic attack probably at the limits of this technology but they had reported they had returned to operation and had recovered quickly due to the defense systems.
Why Labour was attacked opens many conspiracy theories of course, many external countries might see the Brexit scenario as ultimately a benefit from the destruction of the UK national sovereignty breakup of the country in the long term while others see it as a short term popularist action to create yet more economic distractions for a hobbled parliament that is hugely polarized and out of sync with the population.