Boris Johnson’s personal phone number has been online for 15 YEARS in 'security risk'
BORIS Johnson's personal phone could have been used by criminal gangs to eavesdrop or hack him – after his number was found to have been online for 15 YEARS.
In a huge security risk, it was revealed last night that the PM's number could be found on the bottom of an old press release dating back to when he was MP for Henley and a shadow minister in 2006.
The number, which now leads to a phone which is switched off and appears to be unavailable, is said to have been online since then.
But he was blasted him for potentially becoming a security risk and putting the UK at risk.
Today former UK national security adviser Lord Ricketts said hundreds if not thousands of people could have had access to the number over the years – if he hadn't changed it in 15 years.
And it may be that as he'd not changed it in so long, it couldn't be ruled out that hostile states or criminal gangs may have access to it as well.
He told the BBC: "I think one would be worried if a hostile state who had sophisticated capabilities, had the mobile phone number itself.
"That must increase the risk that they're able to eavesdrop on some at least of the communications that are going on, and possibly other non-state actors as well, like sophisticated criminal gangs.
"So, there is no way of knowing whether that's true, but there must at least be an increased risk if the number is widely available."
He said the PM was particularly at risk – as his phone calls might include " sensitive material, commercially sensitive material, people trying to lobby them for favours, or tax advantages, or talks with foreign leaders".
And it shouldn't be the case that anyone who had his phone number before he was PM can still access him now.
Lord Ricketts, who served under David Cameron, added: "If this same mobile phone number has been used for 15 or 20 years, then hundreds, if not thousands, of people must have access to it.
"I think it's for the Prime Minister's own interest to be much more digitally secure than seems to be the case now."
It comes after Mr Johnson's texts with the billionaire businessman James Dyson were revealed last week.
And previous messages with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman also came into the public domain.
It was claimed that the PM was reluctant to change his phone number and wanted to be accessible to those that already had it.
This morning Home Office minister Victoria Atkins insisted that, despite the fresh embarrassment for Mr Johnson over his mobile number being in the public domain, the No 10 incumbent "more than anyone, knows his responsibilities when it comes to national security".
She told Times Radio: "I'm slightly surprised that a national broadcaster felt it appropriate to advertise the fact that that mobile phone is on the internet, if indeed it is."
Ms Atkins added that she believed the public were not "particularly interested" in the issue.
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