Russian hackers stole government documents from Liam Fox’s email account

PUBLISHED: 08:29 04 August 2020

Russian hackers are suspected of breaking in to the former trade secretary's email account to steal classified UK-US trade documents that were leaked in the run-up to the last general election. Photo: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Russian hackers are suspected of breaking in to the former trade secretary's email account to steal classified UK-US trade documents that were leaked in the run-up to the last general election. Photo: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

A criminal investigation is underway after documents on trade talks were stolen from North Somerset MP Liam Fox’s email account.

Russian hackers are believed to have stolen the papers on UK-US trade talks from an email account belonging to Dr Fox and posted them online ahead of December’s election.

Last month, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the government had ‘reasonable confidence’ that Russian actors had tried to interfere in the election.

He told the BBC they had sought to ‘spread online, illegally obtained, leaked government documents’ around the UK-US trade negotiations for after the country leaves the EU.

Reuters, which first reported the story, said hackers accessed the former international trade secretary’s account multiple times between July 12 and October 21 last year.

A cabinet office spokesman said: “There is an ongoing criminal investigation into how the documents were acquired, and it would be inappropriate to comment further at this point.

“But as you would expect, the government has very robust systems in place to protect the IT systems of officials and staff.”


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