Google Says Russian Hackers Are Responsible For New Leaked Brexit Website

A new website that has published leaked emails from several leading supporters of Britain’s exit from the European Union is linked to Russian hackers, according to a Google cybersecurity official and the former head of British foreign intelligence.
The website – titled “Very English State Cooperative” – says it has published private emails from former British spymaster Richard Dearlove, leading Brexit campaigner Gisela Stuart, pro-Brexit historian Robert Toombs and other supporters of Britain’s divorce from Britain. EU, which was finalized in January 2020.
The site claims they are part of a group of extremist pro-Brexit figures who are secretly calling the shots in the UK.

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Reuters could not immediately verify the authenticity of the emails, but two victims of the leak on Wednesday confirmed they were targeted by hackers and blamed the Russian government.

“I am well aware of a Russian operation against a Proton account that contained emails to and from me,” Dearlove said, referring to privacy-focused email service ProtonMail.
Dearlove, who ran Britain’s foreign spy service – known as MI6 – between 1999 and 2004, told Reuters the leaked information should be treated with caution given “the context of the current crisis in relations with Russia”.

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Toombs said in an email that he and his colleagues were “aware of this Russian misinformation based on illegal hacking.” He declined to comment further. Stuart, who chaired Britain’s Vote Leave campaign in 2016, did not return emails.

Shane Huntley, who heads Google’s threat analysis group, told Reuters the ‘English Coop’ website was linked to what the Alphabet Inc-owned company called ‘Cold River’, a UK-based hacking group. Russia.

“We are able to see this through technical indicators,” Huntley said.

Huntley said the whole operation – from the attempts to hack Cold River to the release of the leaks – had “clear technical connections” between them.

Russian embassies in London and Washington did not return emails seeking comment.

The UK Foreign Office, which handles media inquiries for MI6, declined to comment. Other Brexit supporters whose emails were believed to be on the site also did not respond to emails.


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