London – The Queen has summoned one of Britain’s leading computer security experts to Buckingham Palace amid fears that the Royal Family could be targeted by foreign spies and hackers.
Sadie Creese, professor of cyber security at Oxford University, held private talks with the Queen last week. She was invited to a palace luncheon, where she was also able to speak to Prince Philip.
‘Her Majesty likes to keep abreast of the latest developments in technology and the problems they can also bring,’ a courtier tells me. ‘Professor Creese is eminent in her field and was able to share some of her knowledge with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.’
Young royals were reportedly advised earlier this month to change their email addresses and cut back on social media use over fears they could be targeted by hackers.
Prince William later made a top-secret visit to GCHQ, the maximum security ‘listening station’ in Cheltenham, which tracks electronic traffic of terrorists and spy agencies around theworld.
‘Most people understand the need to lock their car or front door, but don’t know how to relate that to cyberspace,’ Prof Creese has said. ‘Can your smart car get hacked? What about banking, social networking, TV watching? Are you safe?’
The Queen’s granddaughter Princess Beatrice left her role as a paid intern at Sony Pictures in January after her salary, address and other confidential information were among a vast amount of data stolen by hackers.
The attack is thought to have been carried out by North Korea in revenge for a Sony comedy that imagined the assassination of Kim Jong-un, the country’s leader.
Beatrice, her sister Princess Eugenie and their cousins Princes William and Harry were said to have been told to make urgent changes to their accounts after security officials detected a threat of corporate and government snooping – most probably from Russia.
The order came after GCHQ issued warnings about ‘chatter’ on the airwaves that prompted suspicion the Royal Family has been targeted. The younger royals are seen as particularly vulnerable because of their use of social media.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman confirmed that Prof Creese visited, but added: ‘We don’t make any comment on security for the Royal Family.’Daily Mail