Authorities within the British Parliment are investigating after MPs were targeted by an attempt to hack their email and phone contact lists on Monday.
Deputy chief whip Christopher Pincher warned colleagues in an email to ignore text messages and emails asking them to “provide overseas contact details” or to “download a secure message app”.
Pincher said: “This is a malicious hack that accesses your contacts list and sends texts and emails to all of your private contacts.” He also said that the Parliamentary Digital Service, which advises MPs on security, had been informed.
Concerns were raised after at least one Tory MP was caught out by the apparent phishing attempt
Dozens of MPs were added to a WhatsApp group named “Hack warning 1” on Monday afternoon by the personal phone number of government whip Mike Freer.
MPs, including several cabinet ministers, immediately left the group.
The MP told friends on Facebook that he had been hacked and that they should ignore “any email suggestion [he] need[s] overseas contacts for government payment”. One recipient of an email purportedly from Freer said it asked for contacts in China.
It is not yet clear how many MPs’ contact details have been compromised or who is responsible for this hacking attempt.
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