Alex Salmond's new Alba Party hit by data leak

Scotland Alba Party
(Image credit: The Alba Party)

The Alba Party, a new pro-Scottish independence political party led by Alex Salmond, suffered a data breach just hours after it launched last weekend.

Over 4,000 names of people who had signed up to attend the party’s events, including those of the SNP's ruling body, were leaked online due to a fault on the party's website, according to the Herald on Sunday.

The fault meant that ID numbers given to users who had signed up for the event could be changed in the URL, allowing an attacker to see another member’s details.

A spokesperson for the party stated that members can be confident that the site is now secure.

“On Saturday 27 March we were alerted to a potential hack of the names of those supporting events on our website. We closed the functionality which allowed the breach at 10:30 am and informed the ICO of the action we had taken which we believe is completely correct,” the spokesperson wrote in a statement.

“No personal information beyond names has been hacked. We apologise that our site did not withstand this breach but assure all supporters that we will not allow this type of black arts activity to deflect from our entirely positive campaign to gain a #Supermajority for independence in the Scottish Parliament.”

It's currently unclear whether the incident was the result of a deliberate hack or due to a configuration error on the website. IT Pro has contacted the Alba Party for clarification.

Those affected reportedly include eight members of the SNP’s ruling body, including SNP NEC members Caroline McAllister, Lynn Anderson, and Brian Lawson. McAllister, SNP’s national women’s convener, defected to the new party yesterday, as did Anderson, former national equalities convener for the SNP.

An ICO spokesperson told IT Pro: “As a public body the ICO has to consider its responsibilities during the pre-election period. Our regulatory work continues as usual but we will not be commenting publicly on every issue raised during the Parliament Election.

“We will however, be closely monitoring how personal data is being used during political campaigning and making sure that all parties and campaigns are aware of their responsibilities under data protection and direct marketing laws.”

Last July, Labour Party data was compromised as part of the Blackbaud data breach, with information on thousands of donors, going back several years, ending up in the hands of cyber criminals.

Zach Marzouk

Zach Marzouk is a former ITPro, CloudPro, and ChannelPro staff writer, covering topics like security, privacy, worker rights, and startups, primarily in the Asia Pacific and the US regions. Zach joined ITPro in 2017 where he was introduced to the world of B2B technology as a junior staff writer, before he returned to Argentina in 2018, working in communications and as a copywriter. In 2021, he made his way back to ITPro as a staff writer during the pandemic, before joining the world of freelance in 2022.