LONDON – A British lawmaker said his private email was hacked by a group, thought to be Russian, and he wanted to speak out publicly to warn others about the attackers’ tactics.
Stewart McDonald, until last year a defence spokesman for the Scottish National Party, said he was worried his emails would be published after he clicked on a document and entered his password.
News of the hack follows a warning from Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre on Jan. 26 that Russia and Iran-based groups were targeting politicians, journalists, academics and defence experts to extract sensitive information from what is known as a “spear-phishing” campaign.
In January, McDonald opened an email that appeared to be from a member of his staff and accessed a password protected document said to be a military update about Ukraine, he told the BBC.
Later he discovered the member of staff had not sent the email.
“In going public I want to raise awareness and urge people to be extra vigilant,” McDonald said on Twitter.
“Those wanting to steal that data are using becoming more sophisticated and more aggressive.”
The NCSC said that Russia-based SEABORGIUM and Iran-based group TA453 were active in 2022 and it deemed it necessary to issue an advisory last month urging individuals in certain sectors to be vigilant.
On Wednesday, the NCSC, which is part of GCHQ, Britain’s intelligence, security and cyber agency, said it was providing an individual with support.
“The NCSC regularly provides security briefings and guidance to parliamentarians to help them defend against the latest cyber threats,” it said in an email.