Two intelligence sources confirmed the thorough search of govt vehicles after fears they had been compromised by hidden devices. At least one SIM card capable of transmitting location data was discovered in the sweep which uncovered “disturbing things”, a security source said.
Senior backbench Conservative MP, @MPIainDS told i: “I don’t know how much more the UK needs to know about the threat China poses to us all. “Surely it is time to change the integrated review and refer to China as a systemic threat.”
The geolocating device had been allegedly placed into a vehicle inside a sealed part imported from a supplier in China and installed by the vehicle manufacturer. The manufacturers fit the parts in cars without opening them because of various warranty and commercial agreements.
The discovery of devices is believed by intelligence sources to be indicative of China’s broad approach to eavesdropping on the West rather than a specific targeting of ministers’ vehicles.
“It’s more about quantity rather than anything specific,” a former GCHQ analyst told i. “The aim is to put trackers in as many cars as possible and then pinpoint in on sights of interest.”
Story hits the front page of tomorrow’s @theipaper