Brexit deal blow: Truss warned hackers now know ‘everything’ about UK trade negotiations

Liz Truss slammed by Russian media after Moscow visit

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The attack on the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has been described as a “serious security incident”. A public tender document published by the Government online revealed it was looking for a cyber security firm for “urgent support” and “support remediation and investigation”. Dan O’Dowd, a cyber security expert and CEO of Green Hills Software, told that it was “certainly possible” that it was a Russian attack, and warned the hackers could have taken “everything”.

When asked what the hackers could have taken from the attack, Mr O’Dowd responded: “Everything. “The NSA can do it, the Russians can do it, the Chinese can do it, probably the Iranians and maybe even North Korea too.

“They all do it, they are all listening in on everything.”

Mr O’Dowd said this could compromise sensitive trade negotiations, like the post-Brexit deal that the UK has been working on since leaving the EU.

He told “You have trade negotiations. There’s a guy in the room listening with someone saying ‘well should we give them this concession or that concession’. They know exactly what your position is.

“They know your weaknesses, they know everything. They are listening to everything you do.

“It is like you might as well broadcast everything you do to the Internet, except that the only people who know it are the people you most want not to know it. That is who it is going to.”

Responding to Mr O’Dowd’s claim, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office spokesperson said: “We do not comment on security but have systems in place to detect and defend against potential cyber incidents.”

Back in 2017, the NHS was hacked in an attack that led to the cancellation of 19,000 appointments and operations which cost £92million.

“They know your weaknesses, they know everything. They are listening to everything you do.

A Whitehall source called the hack a “hugely sophisticated operation committed by a state actor”.

And in December 2020, health chiefs feared another ¬Russian cyber-attack harvested confidential patient data.

A “high severity” was then issued across the NHS network.

The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said the NHS “got lucky”, warning that a more sophisticated attack could wreak havoc.

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In July 2021, the Government confirmed Chinese state-backed actors gained access to computer networks via Microsoft Exchange servers in a cyber attack.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “The cyberattack on Microsoft Exchange Server by Chinese state-backed groups was a reckless but familiar pattern of behaviour.

“The Chinese Government must end this systematic cyber sabotage and can expect to be held accountable if it does not.”

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