Liam Fox, the former trade minister of the United Kingdom, became a victim of a hacking attack by Russians which resulted in the theft of classified documents relating to US-UK trade talks, the Guardian reported.
The attack was executed with a “spear-phishing” technique: superficially plausible emails are sent inviting the recipient to click on an attached file.
Chris Bryant, a Labour MP and former Foreign Office minister, said that he was not surprised with it, given Russia’s long history of targeting western politicians.
“What shocks me is using insecure personal email accounts for sensitive, classified government business. This a very serious breach of national security and should be a criminal offense,” Bryant noted.
As we reported earlier, the European Council imposed sanctions against foreign nationals and organizations for conducting hacking attacks and being involved in them.
The sanctions targeted four Russian citizens (Alexei Morenets, Yevgeny Serebryakov, Oleg Sotnikov, and Alexei Minin) and Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (department for special technologies of the Russian military intelligence service), as well as two Chinese citizens, two organizations associated with this country and with the DPRK.