Hacktivists target MP's website

An inquiry is underway after the website of Conservative MP David Morris was hacked at the weekend.

An inquiry is underway after the website of Conservative MP David Morris was hacked at the weekend.

David Morris, MP for Morecambe & Lunesdale, said an organisation claiming to represent "Freedom for the Mujahideen" had taken over his website and posted an offensive video.

On Saturday, he tweeted: "My website has been hacked, currently working on the situation, please email or telephone until further notice."

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: "We received a report from a complainant relating to a website and an investigation is underway."

Morris told the Telegraph that the company that hosts his website had been informed and it was hoped the site would be fixed "as soon as possible".

David Morris's website was still unavailable on Monday morning.

Read more about hacktivism

The hacking of websites or computer systems for a politically or socially motivated purpose, known as hacktivism, is becoming increasingly common.

Hactivists use the same tools and techniques as a hacker, but do so in order to disrupt services and bring attention to a political or social cause.

Hacktivism is increasingly viewed as a threat that organisations should defend against, but hacktivists should not require any special attention, according to Amichai Shulman, chief technology officer (CTO) of security firm Imperva.

"Hacktivist attacks are occasional, while criminal attacks are a daily reality for most businesses and other organisations, so they should concentrate on those," Amichai Shulman said.

If businesses are prepared for criminal hackers, they should be prepared for hacktivists because, unlike criminal hackers, hacktivists tend to use standard tools that are easier to defend against, Shulman told Computer Weekly.

"If organisations are taking care of that matter, then hacktivists are not going to be an issue," he said.

The biggest problem, said Shulman, is ignorance of the threat, because it is impossible to defend against something that is not understood.

"Businesses today are under continual attack from cyber criminals, so mitigating against cyber attacks should be part of business as usual," Shulman said.

Read more on Hackers and cybercrime prevention