British Prime Minister David Cameron received a hoax call from a man posing to be one of the top spy chiefs in the country but no sensitive information was disclosed by the premier.
The prime minister ended the call when it became clear that it was a hoax and no sensitive information was disclosed, the Downing Street said.
The hoax caller claimed to be director of eavesdropping agency GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters), a British intelligence agency.
It was one of two hoax calls reported yesterday.
“In the first instance, a call was made to GCHQ which resulted in the disclosure of a mobile phone number for the Director. The mobile number provided is never used for calls involving classified information,” a government spokeswoman said in a statement.
“In the second instance, a hoax caller claiming to be the GCHQ director was connected to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister ended the call when it became clear it was a hoax. In neither instance was sensitive information disclosed,” the spokeswoman said.
Following the two incidents, a notice went out to all departments to be on alert for the possibility of more fake calls.
Authorities are now reviewing procedures to help ensure that such calls are not patched through again, the spokeswoman said.
Security procedures are being reviewed both at the PM House 10 Downing Street and GCHQ, where a mobile phone number for director Robert Hannigan was disclosed to the caller.
“Both GCHQ and No 10 take security seriously and both are currently reviewing procedures following these hoax calls to ensure that the government learns any lessons from this incident,” he said.
It is understood that the mobile number given out for Hannigan was for an unclassified phone rather than one of the secure lines used for sensitive communications.
The call to the prime minister was made to an official mobile but the conversation was understood to have been “quite brief” before the hoax was discovered.