Wallace says UK security not compromised by hoax calls
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Home Secretary Priti Patel have been targeted by a hoax caller claiming to be the Ukrainian Prime Minister.
Wallace said on Twitter that ‘an attempt was made by an imposter claiming to be Ukrainian PM to speak with me’. He said that he became suspicious following ‘several misleading questions’, at which point me terminated the call.
Now a cross-Whitehall security inquiry has been launched in the belief that it was a Russian plot. Nonetheless, serious questions remain given that Patel said the same thing happened to her earlier in the week.
Armed Forces Minister James Heappey has told the Press that he is confident that the Defence Secretary and Home Secretary would have known not to discuss sensitive security matters on a system such as Teams which the Russians could easily listen into.
He told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: “Ben’s suspicions were aroused when somebody if he was who he said he was would have known full well that you don’t discuss military movements on Teams because the Russians are watching. Priti, like Ben, day in day out is dealing with matters of national security. When you deal with matters as sensitive as those great offices of state do, you get an instinctive feeling for what you should be saying on each means of communication. I have every confidence that Priti would have known she was on a Teams call. However long it went on, the content would have been appropriate to a Teams call.”
It is believed that Wallace went public with the news due to fears that Russia may try to distort any footage or audio material from the call for propaganda purposes.