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On Sunday, The Mail revealed that Liz Truss’s private mobile phone was compromised by operatives believed to be working for the Kremlin. The cyberspies are said to have acquired access to top-secret communications with crucial foreign allies and private chats with her most powerful political supporter, Kwasi Kwarteng.

According to one insider, the phone has been housed in a locked safe within a protected government site. The hack was uncovered during last summer’s Tory leadership race, when Liz Truss was active as Foreign Secretary. The information was reportedly withheld by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Cabinet Secretary Simon Case.

Changing numbers

Messages believed to have fallen into foreign hands contained critiques of Boris Johnson voiced by Liz Truss and her prospective Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng. The messages raised the possibility of blackmail. According to insiders, up to a year’s worth of texts were obtained.

They are also said to have included very sensitive conversations with senior international foreign ministers regarding the war in Ukraine, including negotiations about armament transfers.

The shocking chain of events reveals why Liz Truss was obliged to change her mobile number, which she had used for almost a decade, soon before becoming Prime Minister. Cabinet Ministers and advisers may have been unexpectedly unable to contact her.

Press blackout

According to a person familiar with the matter, the security breach created disarray. Boris Johnson was immediately notified. Together with the Cabinet Secretary, he arranged a total press blackout.

The probable suspects are Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran, all of which would be keen to learn what the Foreign Secretary was saying. Russia is the most likely suspect.

Security agencies have grown increasingly concerned about the threat of hackers working for hostile nations using mobile phones, which are considered the contemporary state’s ‘soft underbelly’.

Tip: MEPs want Brussels to have more power over spyware regulation