British Justice Secretary Jack Straw, is facing embarrassment after it has been revealed that computers used in his offices back in Blackburn had been hacked into and his Hotmail details stolen.
Straw revealed that online scammers had retrieved his email contact list which contained the email of his constituents and sent them an email asking them to send £2000.
The email purported to the Justice Secretary being stranded in Africa doing charity work after his wallet was lost. Jack Straw told the BBC that he "started getting phone calls from various constituents" asking if he "was really in Nigeria needing $3,000".
He added that "It was an issue for constituents, not the government. We are checking all that and I am assured there's no evidence that confidentiality of constituents was affected."
Amongst the other recipients of the scam emails were the Labour Party members, Council Chiefs and the Ministry of Justice officials; no one has yet come forward as a victim of the scam.
Back in 2001, Jack Straw, as the Home Secretary set up the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit to combat internet crime. It was then dissolved in 2006 and its duties transferred to the e-crime unit of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA).
Rik Ferguson of Trend Micro was quite surprised to see that Jack Straw used Hotmail to communicate with his constituents and his colleagues.
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Has Jack Straw's computer been hacked or his Hotmail account simply broken into? A simple search on Google for "hotmail Hack Password" returns more than 2 million results and there are even videos on Youtube showing how to hack into Hotmail. Regardless, Jack Straw as a senior Minister will certainly need to audit his security setup as soon as possible.