A Year Ago: Tory MP says don't blame hackers

First published: Wed, 24 Nov 1999 14:19:27 GMT

Scotland Yard investigates unauthorised access

A senior Conservative MP believes hackers may not be responsible for hacking into the Tory party's bank account, despite reports in the national press.

Alan Duncan, shadow technology minister has described the discussion of cyber crime as a red herring saying, "This doesn't look to me like computer crime. It looks like a straightforward criminal act. I think someone has basically gone in and acquired some information."

Tory chairman Michael Ancram last night called in Scotland Yard to hunt for computer hackers he believed had broken into the Tory party's treasury bank account. Figures were altered in order to discredit the party and create false evidence of corruption, according to Ancram.

It is also reported the computer criminals hacked into files covering donations from billionaire tycoon Michael Ashcroft.

Scotland Yard has not revealed what leads they are following but have confirmed that the case has been referred to the Specialist Operations Unit which includes the Computer Crime Unit. A spokeswoman says, "A complaint from the Conservative party has been received and is being considered. That complaint relates to alleged unauthorised access to confidential information."

This spokeswoman also indicated that Scotland Yard is not rushing to blame hackers for the alleged crime adding, "We are aware what is being reported but it is very early days in any investigation."

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