Wed, 03 Aug 2022 08:46 AM IST
Voting by Britain's Conservative Party members in order to choose Britain's next Prime Minister has been delayed following the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) spy agency's warning about cyber hackers changing people's ballots, as reported by The Telegraph on Tuesday.
Additionally, there was not any particular threat from a hostile state so far, and the advice was more general about the voting process and its vulnerabilities, the report added.
According to the same report, the rising concern has forced the Conservative Party to abandon plans to allow members to change their vote for the next leader later in the contest.
Postal ballots are also yet to be issued to the around 1,60,000 party members who have now been warned they could arrive as late as Aug. 11, the report added. The ballots were earlier due to be sent out from Monday, The Telegraph reported.
Former Finance Minister Rishi Sunak and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss are in a race to succeed Boris Johnson as the next British Prime Minister.
Truss leads in opinion polls among Conservative Party members, who will decide who becomes the next Prime Minister on September 5 after weeks of voting.
The GCHQ gathers communications from around the world to identify and disrupt threats to Britain. A spokesperson for the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), which is a part of the GCHQ, said that it provided advice to the Conservative Party.
"Defending UK democratic and electoral processes is a priority for the NCSC and we work closely with all Parliamentary political parties, local authorities and MPs to provide cyber security guidance and support," an NCSC spokesperson told Reuters.
"As you would expect from the UK's national cyber security authority we provided advice to the Conservative Party on security considerations for online leadership voting," the spokesperson added.
(With agency reports)