Russian agents may have hacked by former Prime Minister Liz Truss personal phone during her summer leadership challenge that saw her take on the role of prime minister, according to reports.
The agents, believed to be working under Russian President Vladimir Putin, may have had access to top-secret negotiations with key international allies and personal messages between Truss and his future Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng.
A UK government spokesperson told Fox News Digital that while the government would not comment on individual security arrangements, “the government has robust systems in place to protect against cyber threats”, including ” regular security briefings for ministers and advice on protecting their personal data.”
The government reportedly became aware of the hack over the summer, but then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Cabinet Secretary Simon Case suppressed details of the hack, the Daily Mail reported.
framework was Minister of Foreign Affairs before becoming Prime Minister. She served as the main point of contact for the UK’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, directly blaming Putin for the emerging global energy and food crises.
Rebecca Kofflerpresident of Doctrine & Strategy Consulting and a former DIA intelligence officer, told Fox News Digital that it wouldn’t be surprising if Russia targeted Truss — and it succeeded.
“It’s standard operating procedure for Russian intelligence operatives to try to intercept the communications of prominent foreign leaders who are high-value targets for them,” Koffler said. “The goal is either to exfiltrate intelligence or embarrass a foreign official by leaking pirated content, if the Russians come up with something juicy, in terms of personal data.”
Koffler mentioned previous instances in which Russia was able to soften its hacking capabilities, such as when the Russians released a recording of a phone call they intercepted between US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt and Secretary of State. State Deputy Victoria Nuland in which they made derogatory comments about the European Union. She also claimed that Russians freely read President Barack Obama’s unclassified emails.
“If you’re a high-ranking government official or a business leader, your phone contains so much data — emails, photos, voicemails — that can be useful to hostile intelligence services,” Koffler explained. “Russians are highly skilled in hacking and are always on the lookout for valuable secrets or what they call ‘kompromat’ – compromising information. Cyber hacking poses a huge threat to government and business leaders. business, especially when traveling outside their home country.”
One such message to Kwarteng included criticism of Johnson, which the government feared would turn into a form of blackmail.
Other posts may have included details of arms deliveries to Ukraine.
A source with knowledge of the alleged incident told the Mail that the initial revelation caused “absolute pandemonium”.
“It’s not a great look for the intelligence services if the foreign minister’s phone can be so easily raided for embarrassing personal messages by agents believed to be working for Putin’s Russia,” the individual said. Up to a year’s worth of messages may have been downloaded from Truss’ phone.
She may also have been so worried about the breach that she couldn’t sleep during this time and worried that news of the hack would undermine her campaign to lead the party.
The US Department of Defense deferred comments to the State Department, which did not respond at press time.