iPads and smartphones banned from Cabinet meetings over spying fears
Security stepped up at Number 10 amid concerns devices could be bugged by China, Russia, Iran or Pakistan
Smartphones and iPads have been banned from meetings of the Cabinet over fears foreign intelligence services can turn them into bugs without ministers’ knowledge.
The security services are worried that states including China, Russia, Iran and Pakistan have developed the ability to infect gadgets with a Trojan virus, allowing them to take control of the devices and use them to monitor conversations, even when switched off.
During last week’s Cabinet meeting, iPads used by Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister during a presentation, were swiftly cleared out of the room even before discussions could begin, and ministers were told not to touch them beforehand.
In response to the threat, those working in sensitive Government departments have been handed lead-lined soundproof boxes, into which they have been told to put phones and tablets when discussing delicate matters, the Telegraph reported.
Security officials are also concerned by reports that souvenir USB sticks handed to delegates at the G20 summit in St Petersburg may have contained a virus. It is feared the drives may enable Russia’s intelligence agency to hack UK Government computers.
The vast majority of those who enter Number 10 are told to hand in their smartphones to security staff, and only get them back when they leave.
Earlier this week, William Hague revealed that his phone has been secured by GCHQ to protect against bugging.
The Foreign Secretary said: “I think my phone has been modified by GCHQ enough that it'd be difficult, but I'm sure the Chinese have had a good go.”
- 2 Porn block in India: hundreds of sexual websites banned, internet outraged
- 4 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
Jackie Chan in second place in Forbes' Highest Paid Actors list after magazine includes actors working outside US movie industry
Malaysia issues arrest warrant for Gordon Brown’s sister-in-law after she publishes stories on leader Najib Razak's financial affairs
Natalia Molchanova: World's most successful free-diver missing and feared dead after disappearing in Mediterranean
Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
Pizza Express protests: these restaurants charge staff for tips paid by card
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Chris Leslie: Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity agenda will harm the poor, says Labour shadow Chancellor
Jeremy Corbyn: Tony Blair could face war crimes trial over 'illegal Iraq invasion'
Landlords renting properties to illegal immigrants to face up to five years in prison
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
£20000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity has ar...
£40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity working ...
£33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The prime focus of the role is to assist...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment C...