(Reuters) – A new website that published leaked emails from several leading advocates of Britain’s exit from the EU is linked to Russian hackers, according to a Google cyber security official and the former head of Britain’s foreign intelligence service.
The website – titled “Very English Coop d’Etat” – says it has published private emails from former British spy Richard Richardlolo, leading Brexit campaign Gisela Stuart, pro-Brexit historian Robert Toombs and other supporters of Britain’s EU divorce, which ended in January 2020.
The site claims that they are part of a group of tough pro-Brexit figures who are secretly hitting the shots in the UK.
Reuters could not immediately verify the authenticity of the email, but two victims of the leak on Wednesday confirmed that they had been 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,”; said Mr. Dearlove, with reference to the privacy-focused email service ProtonMail.
Mr Dearlove, who headed Britain’s foreign intelligence service – known as MI6 – between 1999 and 2004, told Reuters that the leaked material should be treated with caution given the “context of the current crisis in relations with Russia.”
The Russian embassies in London and Washington did not return emails for comment.
The British Foreign Office, which handles media issues for MI6, declined to comment. Other Brexit supporters whose emails were suspected of being spread on the website did not respond to emails either.