Olympics minister email spoofed

No hacking in 'schoolboy prank'

Olympic rings

Newly demoted Olympics minister Tessa Jowell has fallen victim to pranksters who sent spoof messages in her name.

Contrary to reports in The Independent a spokesman for the minister said the emails came from a bogus account set up with Gmail and not as a result of a hacker breaking into any account she controlled.

Late on Monday, prominent journalists received an email purporting to be from the former culture secretary claiming she had some juicy political gossip to offer after leaving the cabinet, following the ascension of new prime minister Gordon Brown last week.

One message, quoted by The Indy, said: "Can we speak privately? I want to go public with my private tale of Tony. Tessa Jowell."

By Tuesday, however, recipients of the original message received a follow up email stating the original message was a phony, knocked up by hackers. "My email account was hacked last night," the message said. "Have now sorted the problem out. Sorry about the Tony email. TJ."

However a spokesman for Jowell said the messages were not sent from one's of the minster's genuine email accounts. "Her account was not hacked. Someone set up a bogus account on Gmail. It was all a schoolboy prank," he said. ®

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