Fears Putin may meddle in Tory election as hackers ready to hijack online vote

Russia's despotic President Vladimir Putin could order his army of hackers to meddle in the Tory election leadership race, putting the appointment of a new Prime Minister in serious doubt, it has been claimed.

Prime Minister Liz Truss resigned in a blaze of glory earlier today (October 20) after 44 chaotic days in charge.

Some details have now been set out by the Conservative's 1922 committee chairman Sir Graham Brady, and any candidates will need the backing of 100 MPs to standing for nominations with nominations closing at 2pm on Monday (October 24).

READ MORE: Tories will choose next Prime Minister in 'less than a week' – what happens next

The party's membership will then spend most of the next four days, from Monday, voting to choose the country's next Prime Minister via an online vote.

The new Prime Minister will take up the poisoned chalice by Friday (October 28).

But a leading tech expert has told the Daily Star that the speed at which the party is looking to hold its online votes could be an open door for Putin to meddle.

Speaking exclusively to the Daily Star, but retaining their right to anonymity for security fears, they said: “Any online platform is open to hacking, it largely depends on the layers of security that are built into it.

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“Hacking the system can be done in two ways, via the back door through vulnerabilities in a system or by the front door by someone having insecure security credentials and/or their data having been stolen to begin with which is the easiest way in because you can guarantee that data is easily available on the dark web.

“Voting platforms exist in the UK, but I don't know which one the Tories would use, might be able to find out.

“And then it's a case of falling down a rabbit hole to work out where the vulnerabilities lie within it.

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“Many security experts are already expressing their concerns about this situation”.

And political journalist Robert Peston added: “Deep concern that rapid electronic voting by Tory members for new leader brings risk of foreign bad actors, like Russia, hacking the poll and choosing Britain’s new Prime Minister.”

Sir Graham Brady told the Daily Star: "We have taken appropriate advice and we are confident of a secure ballot process."

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