Embarrassment for Home Secretary Amber Rudd as she becomes latest victim of email hoaxer who pranked Donald Trump's son
- Amber Rudd has been lured into a fake email exchange with an internet hoaxer
- The imposter has also targeted members of President Donald Trump's team
- Communicated with the Cabinet Minister through her personal email address after posing as Theresa May's new head of communications Robbie Gibb
Home Secretary Amber Rudd has become the latest victim of a notorious hoaxer, who recently duped members of Donald Trump's entourage.
The hoax is likely to be embarrassing for Ms Rudd who has overall responsibility for cyber security in her role as home security.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd has been lured into a fake email exchange with an internet hoaxer who has also targeted members of President Donald Trump's team
After setting up a fake address using the free email service GMX, the hoaxer emailed Ms 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.
She revealed she was working with her special adviser Mohammed Hussein on a series of announcements to be made in August.
She also said she was 'delighted' Mr Gibb was 'on board' and explained how she was going on holiday this month 'at last'.
Shortly afterwards, he replied: 'Yes, a proper sit-down would be superb. I'm just finding my feet as I am sure you can imagine. I'm excited though. Positive announcements sound ideal! What is it you are working on, if you don't mind me asking? Sadly a summer holiday for myself looks unlikely. Maybe autumn, unlike you I haven't worked hard enough to deserve one as yet! Robbie.'
A transcript of the exchange, dated July 7, reveals Ms Rudd later realised she had been tricked.
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.'
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
The anonymous hacker 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.'
The hacker also sent emails to publicly available addresses for Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, the chancellor, but only Ms Rudd replied.
The 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 previously 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 Mr Priebus.
That came following Mr Scaramucci's dismissal after just 10 tumultuous days in the job.
The hacker also claimed to have duped Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert into revealing his personal email address by pretending to be Mr Trump's son-in-law, Mr Kushner.
He has also duped the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, and Barclays boss Jes Staley by setting up fake email accounts.
He uses the name Sinon Reborn after the spy Sinon who conned the Trojans into taking the wooden horse into Troy in Virgil's Aeneid.
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