As the phone hacking saga has dragged on, relatively little attention has been paid to the parallel inquiry into possible computer hacking among members of the British media. Yet there are disturbing, though fairly predictable, signs that computer hacking might well have taken place on a widespread, industrial scale at some media organisations. The latest suggestion is that, while he was Chancellor, Gordon Brown had his emails hacked.
Scotland Yard’s Operation Tuleta have apparently identified certain messages sent by Brown when he was Chancellor that they believe might have been hacked. It’s not clear at this stage who they believe was responsible for the hacking, but the news must raise fears that if Brown was hacked as Chancellor, he might also have been hacked as Prime Minister. Hacking into the Prime Minister’s emails might be seen as somewhat… naughty.
If 2011 was the year of phone hacking, 2012 could be the year of computer hacking and there is speculation that the number of victims of the latter could exceed the number of victims of the former. In this context, ‘hacking’ might not be the correct technical term if, for example, the emails were acquired through the use of malware rather than code exploits. Still, the eight-strong Operation Tuleta investigation unit might have a busy year ahead of them.