Truss’s personal phone number ‘for sale on the internet’

The Mail on Sunday said the numbers of 26 senior ministers are available on a US website containing stolen data.

02 October 2022

The personal mobile phone numbers of Liz Truss and 25 other Cabinet ministers are for sale over the internet after being stolen by hackers, it has been reported.

The Mail on Sunday said the stolen numbers appeared on a US website which charges just £6.49 for a week’s access to its searchable database.

Among those listed, the paper said, were Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and Home Secretary Suella Braverman.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace is among the ministers whose phone numbers reportedly appeared on the site (Ian Forsyth/PA)

The numbers of seven members of the Labour shadow cabinet, including party leader Sir Keir Starmer, were also said to be available.

The disclosure will raise concerns that the security of ministers may be compromised, with foreign intelligence agencies able to access and exploit the information.

The Government declined to comment directly on the report, although a spokesman said they were aware that such sites existed although much of the data on them was “old and incorrect”.

The spokesman added that ministers were given regular security briefings on how to protect their personal data.

The Mail on Sunday said the website – which it did not name – claimed to have more than 14 billion files of “compromised assets” stolen in cyberattacks dating back more than a decade.

The paper said it was unclear who was behind the website, which has an office listed in what it describes as a “downmarket area” of Las Vegas.

After paying a £6.49 fee to access the site for a week, the paper said that one of its reporters was able to find the Prime Minister’s personal mobile number within “seconds”.

A search for “Elizabeth Truss” returned an entry which appeared to contain a mobile phone number that the website stated had been stolen in a 2020 hack on Covve, a popular digital contacts book.

When they added the phone number to WhatsApp, the profile came up with a photo of the Prime Minister taken last Christmas.

A Government spokesman said: “We take cyber security extremely seriously and we have agencies like the National Cyber Security Centre to help businesses and individuals protect their personal information from cyber threats.

“While we don’t comment on specific incidents, the Government is aware that websites exist that aggregate details from historical data breaches, therefore much of the data on these websites is old and incorrect.

“Ministers receive regular security briefings and advice, including advice on protecting their personal data and mitigating cyber threats.”

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