Feeds

Lewd voicemail hack on MP prompts probe

What's the story, moaning Tory?

The essential guide to IT transformation

A prankster hacked into an MP's parliamentary voicemail and left a sexually offensive message for callers, the Mail on Sunday reports.

Tory MP Claire Perry told the paper that the voicemail of her landline was changed so that callers were asked whether they had recently engaged in a sex act, which she declined to describe. Perry reckons the breach is linked to a "general, system-wide failure" of Parliament's comms network.

"The Clerk of the House is taking it very seriously and the authorities are now investigating," she added.

Although the incident may provoke calls for a general review of phone and (perhaps) email security in the mother of parliaments, the MoS's spin that the incident illustrates a vulnerability that might be exploited by cyber-terrorists is comically overblown.

It's much more likely the Tory MP for Devizes, Wiltshire, forgot to change the default password, a factor subsequently exploited by a prankster or a malicious insider, perhaps someone who harbours a grudge against Perry.

If hackers had obtained compromised access to parliamentary voicemail systems, as Perry and the Mail on Sunday seem to think might have happened, then why draw attention to this by changing the voicemail message of a lowly backbencher? It's unclear whether or not anybody's voicemail messages were actually intercepted, a far more troubling possibility especially amid the ongoing controversy over the News of the World hacking scandal.

Perry was elected in May 2010, and since then she has submitted a private member's bill calling for Remembrance Sunday to be made a bank holiday. However, she is arguably more famous for her off-the-cuff remark, when she failed to attract the attention of Speaker John Bercow: "What do I have to do? Give him a blowjob?" ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.