Categories: Security

Apple Watch Banned From Cabinet Meetings Over Spy Fears

Ministers have been forbidden to wear the Apple Watch during cabinet meetings due to the risk they could be hacked by Russian agents, according to a report.

Prime minister Theresa May imposed the new rules following several high-profile hacks that have been blamed on Russia, according to The Telegraph, which cited unnamed sources.

Spying fears

“The Russians are trying to hack everything,” said one of the paper’s sources.

Several cabinet ministers previously wore the Apple Watch, including former Justice Secretary Michael Gove, according to the paper.

Mobile phones have already been banned due to similar concerns.

Politically motivated hackers have caused disruption in several recent incidents, including the hack of the Democratic National Committee, which resulted in the release of a large cache of internal emails.

US intelligence and national security officials officially blamed the Russian government for that hack on Friday.

Russian hackers also released medical data on top US athletes over a doping row following the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Late last month Turkish militants released a trove of what they claimed to be 16 years’ worth of emails stolen from three accounts belonging to a senior minister.

The hackers said they obtained the minister’s login details using malware placed on his iPad.

IT security experts have warned that the billions of Internet-connected devices currently in use present a serious security risk that remains to be addressed.

The European Commission said last week it wants to introduce a testing scheme that would help ensure the security of connected gadgets, most of which currently include little or no security protections.

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Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

View Comments

  • Are we to assume topics discussed during cabinet meetings are only voiced during such meetings ? Could it be remotely within the realm of possibility that a cabinet minister may discuss his/her ideas with someone else outside a cabinet meeting ? There must be some thought before attending a cabinet meeting or are ministers somehow different that they do not think about and/or discuss ideas before a meeting ? The point is if banning some gadget during a meeting should it not be banned for any discussion that involves related subject matter ? Does whoever required the ban serious believe spying would only occur on such devices during certain meetings ?

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