Date
14 December 2017
The impostor managed to speak with David Cameron but the prime minister ended the call when he realized he was being tricked. Photo: The Telegraph
The impostor managed to speak with David Cameron but the prime minister ended the call when he realized he was being tricked. Photo: The Telegraph

Hoax call to Cameron prompts UK security review

Security officials are reviewing procedures after a hoax caller pretending to be the head of a British intelligence unit managed to speak to Prime Minister David Cameron.

The caller pretended to be the head of the General Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), a security organization responsible for providing information to the British government and the armed forces, The Guardian reported Tuesday. 

Cameron spoke to the impostor, who was claiming to be GCHQ director Robert Hannigan, but ended the call when he realised he was being tricked.

According to No. 10 Downing St., no sensitive information was disclosed during the conversation between the men, which was described as “quite brief”.

In a separate incident, a caller rang GCHQ and managed to obtain Hannigan’s mobile phone number.

“Following two hoax calls to government departments today, a notice has gone out to all departments to be on the alert for such calls,” a government spokeswoman said.

“In the first instance, a call was made to GCHQ which resulted in the disclosure of a mobile phone number for the director. The mobile number provided is never used for calls involving classified information. In the second instance, a hoax caller claiming to be the GCHQ director was connected to the prime minister.”

The spokeswoman said incidents of this kind were taken seriously and procedures were being reviewed to see whether any lessons needed to be learned.

It is not the first time Cameron has been taken in by a hoaxer.

In 2013, he wrote a tweet to an account in the name of Work and Pensions Minister Iain Duncan Smith. The account, however, was a spoof – about which Cameron appeared ignorant.

– Contact us at [email protected]

RA

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe