BBC Panorama investigates News of the World computer hacking

Last night, BBC One broadcast an investigation by the Panorama team into alleged computer hacking done on behalf of Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World newspaper.

The progamme – called “Tabloid Hacks Exposed” – identified a former British army intelligence officer who had served in Northern Ireland, Ian Hurst, as the target of the computer hack.

Hurst was thought to have contributed to a book about “Stakeknife”, the codename for an alleged spy who infiltrated the higher echelons of the Provisional IRA while secretly working for British Intelligence.

According to the Panorama report, copies of emails sent from Hurst’s computer were stolen by a Trojan horse installed by a hacker. Footage secretly filmed by the BBC, shows Hurst meeting the man who he believes broke into his PC, who confesses his involvement:

“It weren’t that hard. I…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the cybersecurity industry, having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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