Tory minister’s Twitter account hijacked by crypto fraudsters

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The education secretary’s Twitter account was hacked on Christmas Day to promote the joke cryptocurrency dogecoin, which was famously backed by Elon Musk.

More than 12 hours after the hack, Gillian Keegan’s profile picture remained an image of Tesla founder and new Twitter chief executive Elon Musk, dressed in a costume of leather armour dubbed the “Devil’s Champion”.

The Conservative minister’s account appears to have been hacked at around 7.30pm, after which point it began promoting a fake “special giveaway” of dogecoin – supposedly being hosted by Musk’s companies – to the Chichester MP’s 28,000 followers.

The breach will concern security officials, and comes just weeks after Commons speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle issued MPs with new advice on how to protect their mobile phones, which he warned were a “potential goldmine for hostile states”.

His warning that parliamentarians were being targeted came as it was reported that Liz Truss’s mobile phone had been hacked by alleged Russian agents while foreign secretary, during her successful bid this summer to win the keys to Downing Street.

The hackers targeting Ms Truss were alleged to have gained access to sensitive information, including discussions with foreign officials about the war in Ukraine and details about arms shipments.

Earlier this year, researchers at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab revealed that powerful spyware, used by hackers to snoop on communications and steal data, had been found on a device at Downing Street.

They said that the notorious “Pegasus” Trojan horse software appeared to have been used to target both the prime minister’s office and the Foreign Office, in cyberattacks apparently originating respectively in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and in the UAE, India, Cyprus, and Jordan.

In the hack on Ms Keegan’s account, the posts promoting dogecoin had been deleted early on Monday morning. Just before 11am, Ms…

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