The mobile phone numbers, social media profiles and personal details of thousands of civil servants left publicly online for years could be used by hackers in “parlour tricks” to try to access sensitive government information, it has been claimed.
Ministers are increasingly vulnerable to so-called human hacking, in which victims are tricked by someone posing as a trusted contact into allowing access to their phones.
The vast amount of information available online means a minister’s phone could be hacked in 20 minutes, experts said.
Until March 2020 a database with the name, job title and email address of 45,000 civil servants was available on the Government Communication Service (GCS) website. It was taken down because of work on the website but a message promises it