KGB minions could sway the results of the online vote of the Tory leadership, warns the expert

The KGB could have minions ready to upset the Tory leadership race if it were to go to an online vote, a major cyber expert has warned.

Peter Ryan, a professor of applied security at the University of Luxembourg, told the PA news agency that little is known about membership in the Conservative Party.

Figures vary by number of members, with 180,000-200,000 usually given as estimates.

The party’s website has a membership option called “Conservatives Abroad”, which says “anyone living anywhere in the world is welcome to join Conservatives Abroad starting at just £ 25 a year”.

He adds: “As an overseas member, you are entitled to all the benefits of party membership, including participation in the Conservative Policy Forum, participation in party conferences and voting for the election of the party leader.”

While many Conservative voters overseas may be legitimate British citizens living overseas, others may be KGB stooges, Professor Ryan said.

“They are not willing to say anything about their membership,” he said.

“It seems easy to register as a non-British voter.

“We don’t know much about the electorate that is forming the leader of a G7 country. There may be many people overseas who are not even UK citizens.

“As far as we know, the KGB could have recruited a significant number of minions.

“The margin last time was low: it wouldn’t take long to swing it.”

Online voting is “always vulnerable” to hacking, “especially by state attackers”, added prof. Ryan.

In the previous Tory leadership race, party members were initially told they could vote by mail and change their decision online until the system was reformed in early August.

The National Cyber ​​Security Center (NCSC), part of the GCHQ, said the process is vulnerable to interference, forcing the party to delay sending ballots.

Those who chose to vote online had to submit a one-time code and answer the security questions.

Commenting on the prospects of another online vote, the NCSC said it continues to advise the Conservative Party.

“Upholding the UK’s democratic and electoral processes is a priority for the NCSC and we work closely with all parliamentary political parties, local authorities and parliamentarians to provide cybersecurity guidance and support,” a spokesperson said.

“As the UK’s national technical authority for cybersecurity, we continue to advise the Conservative Party, including on security considerations for the online leadership vote.”

The Conservative party has been contacted for comment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *