Boris Johnson accidentally revealed the Cabinet’s meeting ID and Michael Gove’s username in a screenshot from videoconferencing app Zoom.
The Prime Minister, who is self-isolating after testing positive for coronavirus, hosted his first ever digital Cabinet yesterday.
He later posted a picture with government ministers – including Dominic Raab, Michael Gove and Jacob Rees-Mogg – reminding the public to ‘stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives’.
However, people on Twitter immediately noticed that the Tory leader had left the Zoom meeting ID number in the top left corner of the screenshot, as well as the usernames of some ministers taking part.
if you’d like to dial into the Cabinet tomorrow, the Zoom meeting ID has helpfully been included in this screenshot https://t.co/Ng9n0DC6Iw— Matthew Champion (@matthewchampion) March 31, 2020
It has led to speculation that the next meeting could be easily hacked.
Downing Street has insisted the Cabinet’s online gatherings are secure and the meeting ID was password protected.
However, according to one cybersecurity expert, the prime minister’s tweet showing meeting details broke a key rule about security when using such technology.
Jonathan Knudsen, senior security strategist at Synopsys, told the Metro: “Video conferencing helps people stay connected by being able to speak to each other, see each other, and share text and files.
“Like any other technology, however, video conferencing has security risks that must be considered. No matter who you are, publishing information to the world must be done carefully.
“Boris Johnson’s Twitter post reveals a Zoom meeting ID and what appears to be one or two personal IDs that might correspond to email addresses.
“In the worst-case scenario, the meeting ID will be reused, the meeting is not protected by a password, and an eavesdropper is able to join. Likewise, Mr Johnson’s colleagues might get unsolicited and unwanted email.
“Before posting anything online, stop and think. In the best-case scenario, this screenshot was reviewed and determined to contain no sensitive information.”
Related: UK government forced to lie its way out of trouble