Exclusive – UK National Security Exposed to Geo-Poli-Cyber™ Attacks/Exploits for Years | PM Boris Johnson’s Phone Number ‘listed online for last 15 years’

A flawed UK National Security Strategy, and a missing critical protocol permitted Boris Johnson’s mobile number being available online for years. They exposed the frailty of the UK National National Cyber Security strategy and the poorness of its policies and protocols.

The British government has been trying to downplay the national security risk exposures after it was reported that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s cellphone number was openly available on the internet for the last 15 years.

In total contrast with the assessments of many highly respected security experts, the government continued to deny there was a security lapse. Home Office minister Victoria Atkins insisted that the prime minister “knows his responsibilities when it comes to national security” and blamed the media by criticizing them for revealing the fact that the PM’s number was in the public domain.

“If the number was widely available, it could be used for eavesdropping by hostile nations  and possibly other non-state actors as well, like sophisticated criminal gangs.”

Lord Peter Ricketts, former National Security Adviser to PM David Cameron.

A senior National Cyber-Survivability Expert at the MLi Group, the parent company of Survivability News, went further by saying: “It is an inescapable reality that the British Government’s secrets and its national security may have been seriously and continuously compromised over the years”.

But the government denial and spin kept coming.

Treasury chief Rishi Sunak said that “as far as I’m aware, all security protocols have been followed.” Sunak also added, “Part of what makes the prime minister special is that he is an incredibly approachable individual.”

 “The UK national security risk became serious when Boris Johnson became Foreign Minister in Theresa May’s government in 2016. But this risk increased significantly when he then became Prime Minister and continued using this personal mobile number.”  

Khaled Fattal, MLi Group Executive Chairman & Creator of the Cyber-Survivability™ National & Corporate Strategies and Models.

Flawed UK National Security Strategy

A senior MLi Group Geo-Political expert said, ” domestic and foreign terrorists, extremist and special interest groups, as well as foreign nations and their security agencies may have already tried and succeeded in exploiting this 15 year old “unpatched and uncorrected vulnerability”. But this escalated into a serious national security threat since Boris rose to prominence as Foreign Secretary in 2016, and then PM in 2019, because this ‘risk exposure’ was never corrected.” 

The MLi Group expert added, “this is not the time for political correctness when dealing with such failings and highly sophisticated threat actors. What do you think the Russian or Chinese security agencies or groups would do if they were aware of the availability of this private mobile number of PM Johnson? What about the ISIS Cyber Caliphate or its lone wolves? I cringe to think what and how they may have already compromised that number and the information they may have learnt over the years to the detriment of the British people.”

Governments Worldwide Misled

Governments all over the world continue to follow flawed national cyber security strategies, policies and protocols that have many critical processes and protocols missing . Most continue to permit senior officials unhindered use of their private mobile numbers and phones after getting into office.

Mandatory Protocols developed by the MLi Group and which form part of its National Cyber-Survivability Strategies™ with a Legislative Road Map would not permit officials unhindered use of their private numbers and devices upon taking up their new role. (See protocol details below)

Missing Critical Protocols

While Boris has a lot to answer for, a bigger responsibility lies in a major flaw that exists in the the UK’s National Cyber Security Strategy, Protocols, and their implementations.

One of the many missing critical protocols in the UK national security strategy is one that would require top government officials to hand over their private number(s) and phone(s) to the appropriate National Security Agency for custodianship. This first step is then followed by a second step where they are replaced with new number(s) and phone(s) that are secured.

Such protocol is a mandatory process in any MLi Group National Cyber-Survivability Strategy regardless if it incorporated a Legislative Road Map being adopted, implemented, and monitored, or not.

“Handing over a private number and phone to be replaced by new ones would have been a ‘mandatory protocol’ had the UK adopted and been implementing an MLi Group Cyber-Survivability™ Strategy, with or without, a Legislative Road Map.” 

MLi Group National Cyber-Survivability™ & Legislative Expert.

Worth noting, Downing Street did not deny reports earlier this month that Cabinet Secretary Simon Case advised Mr Johnson to change his long-held phone number because of concerns over how many people had his direct contact details.

It is unclear if Mr. case’s recommendation was due to national security  concerns or purely averting another PR sleaze disaster like the recent one around Mr Dyson that raised serious red flags about high profile donors to the the conservative party having direct access to and influence over the PM, and without due process.

Lessons Seldom Learnt

This event should serve as a wake up call to many government leaders around the world, especially those in emerging economies. Majority of them continue following western national and corporate cyber security, resiliency and continuity strategies, such as the UK follows. It is often touted as “gospel” and sold as “best of class” but which continues to fail to defend the nation state and protect its citizens on unpreceded and embarrassing scales.

But it gets worse.

National leaders in emerging economies who have been buying and relying on these failed strategies to the detriment of the security of their national sovereignty have an opportunity to discover how an MLi Group Cyber-Survivability Strategy can be more effective in serving them, their citizens and society as well as attain a new national competitive advantage.  

Call to Action

Since 2013, the MLi Group has been helping governments and organizations audit their existing National and corporate cyber security strategies, solutions and protocols. This initial process allows the consideration and addition of critically missing solutions, processes and protocols. Once added and integrated they will form a specially configured  National or Corporate Cyber-Survivability Strategy that is based on the country’s or organization’s own specific needs, challenges and priorities.

Request Your Decision Maker Private Briefing

Top national and corporate leaders, decision makers, and regulators can request a no obligation MLi Group Private and confidential Top Decision Maker Briefing.

The briefing will help attendees discover the significant difference between Cyber Security and Cyber-Survivability Strategies, Solutions, and Protocols. They also stand to also find out:

  • How their nation/organization can become better able to protect itself and its citizens/consumers.
  • Identify implementable strategies that can better help mitigate threats.
  • Elevate national sovereignty / corporate cyber and non cyber defence posture, especially against threats that MLi can prove are poorly or totally unmitigated.
  • Address how such implementations will help deliver multiple National / Corporate Competitive Advantages.

Upon additional request, the briefing can also cover the short and long term regulatory road map necessary for government officials. For corporate leaders if reforms and restructuring ought to be considered. Both tracks would subsequently identify possible paths, solutions and processes to explore and consider.

How to Request Your Briefing?

Click below to submit your ‘Expression of Interest’ through the Survivability News Portal.


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What Are
Cyber™ Risks?

What Is Geo-Poli-Cyber™?

MLi Group created the terms Poli-Cyber™ and Geo-Poli-Cyber™ (GPC™) in 2012 and 2013 based on the philosophy that if you cannot identify and name the threat, you cannot mitigate that threat.

Geo-Poli-Cyber™ attacks are political, ideological, terrorist, extremist, ‘religious’, and/or geo-politically motivated.

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