Amber Rudd lured into fake email exchange with internet hoaxer
Home secretary Amber Rudd has fallen prey to an internet hoaxer who goaded her into an email exchange by posing as one of Theresa May’s advisers.
The prankster, who uses the name ‘Sinon Reborn’, was able to communicate with the cabinet minister through her personal email address after posing as Theresa May’s new head of communications Robbie Gibb, according to The Guardian.
After setting up a fake email address, the hoaxer emailed Rudd’s publicly available parliamentary email address and then started a conversation with the home secretary when she replied to him from her personal account.
A transcript of the exchange, dated 7 July 2017, reveals that Rudd realised she had been tricked after exchanging pleasantries.
Asked what projects she was working on, the home secretary replied: “Well, as you can imagine, a few things on the agenda, but getting tough on people impersonating others is definitely up there.”
‘Reborn’ told The Guardian, “I managed to speak to a home secretary with relative ease on her personal email address.
“I replied again saying: ‘Don’t you think you should be more aware of cyber security if you are home secretary?’ and I never got a reply from that.”
A Home Office source confirmed the exchange, adding, “The home secretary does not use her personal email address to discuss government business.
“As the email exchange shows, she rapidly established that this was a hoax and had only exchanged pleasantries up to that point.”
Rudd provoked a public backlash in recent weeks after saying that “real people” do not need end-to-end encryption.
The UK-based hacker has previously claimed he tricked senior American officials into thinking he was other prominent members of White House staff, including President Donald Trump’s senior adviser Jared Kushner and the former White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus.
The imposter posted a series of email exchanges on Twitter, which he claimed were between former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci and himself, pretending to be Priebus.
He also claimed to have duped homeland security adviser Tom Bossert into revealing his personal email address by pretending to be Trump’s son-in-law, Mr Kushner.