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Jack Straw falls victim to Nigerian internet hackers

Jack Straw falls victim to Nigerian internet hackers
Jack Straw falls victim to Nigerian internet hackers

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By Alexandra Topping
25 February 2009

What would you do if you were the justice secretary and had lost your 
wallet while visiting Africa? You'd send out an email to hundreds of 
your friends, colleagues and passing acquaintances, asking them for the 
fare home, of course.

That is what fraudsters who got hold of Jack Straw's email account would 
have had his contacts believe. It emerged yesterday that a gang of 
Nigerian internet hackers had sent hundreds of emails to the Blackburn 
MP's contacts, claiming that he had lost his wallet while on charity 
work in Africa and was in need of $3,000 (=C2=A32,000) to get home.

Straw may have been a little disgruntled to learn that among the 
numerous Ministry of Justice officials, Labour party members, 
constituents, and council bosses who were emailed, not one offered a 
single penny to help. In fact, only one constituent is believed to have 
replied to the email.

Straw said there had been no serious breach of security, as the 
attempted fraud related to addresses stored in his Hotmail account 
rather than a ministerial one. He told his local newspaper, the 
Lancashire Telegraph, that emails from the account, now suspended by 
Microsoft, were sent to a "significant number of people". He said: "It 
was an issue for constituents, not the government. We are checking all 
that, and I'm assured there's no evidence that confidentiality of 
constituents was affected."


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