Russian hackers leaked mail correspondence of British minister
The agency did not specify which organization or company could be discussed, but believes that a state was behind the leaked details of trade negotiations between the UK and the United States ahead of the UK parliamentary elections in December 2019.
Secret documents on US-UK trade circulated on the Internet ahead of the 2019 British elections were stolen by Russian hackers from the email of former Commerce Secretary Liam Fox, two anonymous sources close to the situation were quoted by Reuters. Hackers have logged into Fox's account several times between July 12 and October 21 last year, sources said.
Sources do not specify which group or organization is suspected of the attacks, but they say the operation had all signs of support at the state level. The Kremlin has not given any comments yet.
The British government declined to comment on the Reuters report. “The investigation into the leaked documents has not yet been completed, and at this point we believe it is inappropriate to comment further,” a British government official said Monday. “But, of course, the government has very reliable systems to protect the IT systems of officials and employees.”
Among the stolen information were six packets of documents detailing trade negotiations between the UK and the US. The data was circulated online as part of a disinformation campaign, first reported by Reuters last year.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab last month confirmed the reports, saying Russia tried to interfere in the elections "through the online distribution of illegally obtained government documents."
Reuters was unable to determine which of Fox's accounts was hacked and when it first happened. It is also unclear if Fox was minister at the time, leaving office on July 24 last year.
Earlier, the UK suspected Russian hackers of trying to steal data on the development and testing of vaccines against coronavirus in three countries at once.
"We have no information who could have hacked pharmaceutical companies and research centers in the UK. We can say one thing - Russia has nothing to do with these attempts. We do not accept such accusations, just like the next unfounded accusations of interference in the 2019 elections," a Kremlin spokesman told TASS.