Liz Truss May Have A New Problem: Did Russia Hack Her Phone?
A report by the United Kingdom’s Daily Mail On Sunday newspaper claimed that former Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister Liz Truss’ private cell phone was hacked by foreign agents “suspected of working for the Kremlin” and that the hack was discovered during the Conservative Party leadership campaign that took place through the summer.
According to the newspaper, foreign agents were able to intercept messages sent by the soon-to-be prime minister about the war in Ukraine. Private messages between her and former Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng were also allegedly intercepted.
While the British government has not officially confirmed the hack, the chair of the British government’s Defense Select Committee Tobias Ellwood told British media on Sunday that Russia is “getting better and better” at hacking and cyber-attacks.
“We take the most stringent measures to make sure it doesn’t happen,” Ellwood told Sky News, adding that an investigation by the intelligence and security committee is being prepared.
It should be noted 19FortyFive cannot verify the claims in the Daily Mail at present.
Among the most serious claims following the reported hack came from Kim Dotcom (which we also cannot confirm), the German-Finnish entrepreneur and activist who founded Megaupload, an online file hosting service that was shut down by the U.S. government following accusations of criminal copyright infringements, wire fraud, and money laundering.
In a tweet published on Sunday, Dotcom claimed that the Russians know the British government had a hand in the Nord Stream explosions because of a message sent by Truss from her personal iPhone to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
“How do the Russians know that the UK blew up the North Stream pipelines in partnership with the US? Because @trussliz used her iPhone to send a message to @SecBlinken saying ‘It’s done’ a minute after the pipeline blew up and before anybody else knew?” Dotcom wrote, adding, “iCloud access rocks!”
iCloud is an online service used by iPhone and Apple Mac users that allows messages, files, photographs, and contacts to be saved online and accessed by authorized computers and devices.
Dotcom added that China and Russia have “sophisticated cyber units” that allow them to gain backdoor access to Big Tech databases, suggesting that users’ data may not be as secure as they think.
“The funny thing is Govt officials with top security clearance still prefer using iPhones over their NSA & GCHQ issued encrypted sh*t-phones,” Dotcom added.
The British government has not confirmed Dotcom’s claims, nor has Russia explicitly stated that the text message exists or was intercepted by hackers.
19FortyFive cannot independently verify Dotcom’s claims.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.