Data Security Threat to UK Government Ministers and Civil Servants

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All the ministers and government employees working in the UK were issued a warning when their official contact details were publicly available online until March 2020. The Government Communication Service website was publicly displaying information of about 45k Govt employees and details include email address, phone numbers and job titles, along with the social media account handles of some ministers and civil servants, including their Twitter and LinkedIn profiles.

Hackers and advertising agencies are always on a hunt for such details as they can sell the data to interested parties for a fair price that could go up to $2000 for info of just 1000 contacts.

Currently, the information was removed from the website because of some maintenance issues and news resource The Times newspaper reported that the website will re-display the details soon.

Often such info can cause phishing and social engineering attacks launched on officials to gather intelligence and so the tech heads of government agencies should follow basic cybersecurity hygiene while posting such details public.

NOTE 1- In October last year, after Liz Truss submitted a resignation, a news resource revealed that her phone number was publicly available while she held a foreign secretary post.

NOTE 2- It is a known fact that UK’s Ex- Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s phone number was publicly available on the web for over a decade and no one from the British parliament bothered to figure out the consequences and warn the British Politician on his contact information being displayed on public platforms.

 

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Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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