How did jihadists hack into top UK ministerial emails if no security breach took place?
Answers on a postcard from Syria, please
GCHQ has declined to comment on a report in the Daily Telegraph this weekend, which claimed that UK cabinet ministers' emails had been hacked, but that – bafflingly – no breach had occurred.
Which is a bit like saying "nothing happened, but we're going to write a story anyway."
Spokesbeings at Britain's eavesdropping nerve centre told The Register on Sunday morning that GCHQ doesn't "comment on intelligence matters".
We could go on to tell you that we understand that Whitehall was warned of a threat to ministerial accounts, but that successful hack attacks failed to happen.
But you'd be forgiven for thinking something went seriously wrong, with some kind of major security breach taking place affecting top government bods, if you read the Torygraph's report, which carried the headline "Cabinet ministers' email hacked by Isil spies".
It went on to claim that "Jihadists in Syria have hacked into ministerial accounts in a sophisticated espionage operation uncovered by GCHQ".
Sadly, the claims have been parroted elsewhere in the UK by other national newspapers, which have failed to see the contradiction between claiming that a hack had taken place and then going on to say that no breach occurred.
It has also been reported that Junaid Hussain – the UK fugitive hacker turned ISIS recruiter killed in a US drone strike in Syria in August – was understood to have been behind the "cyber attack".
To reiterate, the cyber attack in which no security breach occurred. Geddit? ®