SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Take cover! Army hero Lord Dannatt comes under attack from email hacker


During his illustrious military career, he was awarded the Military Cross after one of several tours of duty in Northern Ireland before concluding his service as Chief of the General Staff — the most senior post in the British Army.

But Lord Dannatt, who was ennobled in 2011, has just suffered a reminder that civvy street has security perils all of its own.

Last week, I can disclose, he became aware his private email address had been hacked by an unknown person, who had then sent out emails purportedly from him.

Lord Dannatt, who was ennobled in 2011, fell victim to a cyber hacker who sent a spoof email from his personal account pretending to be him

The bogus messages were given a veneer of authenticity by appending the correct honours and decorations to his name — GCB, CBE, MC, DL — and by describing him, again accurately, as Chief of the General Staff 2006-2009 and President of The Tommy Club.

Recipients were invited to ‘provide a proposal and your availability for the attached scope of work’, while a link highlighted what was described as a ‘Request for Proposal Document’.

As a final flourish, a mobile phone number was supplied. ‘It is the first time my email address has been hacked,’ Lord Dannatt tells me, adding that the email mingled fact with fiction.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge talks with General the Lord Dannatt, Constable of the Tower of London, August 5, 2014 in London, England

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge talks with General the Lord Dannatt, Constable of the Tower of London, August 5, 2014 in London, England

‘Even though the email was a spoof, The Tommy Club is definitely not a spoof, but a very valuable military veterans’ charity of which I am the President,’ he explains, pointing out that the club, which runs a village in Kent and operates a factory in tandem with Royal British Legion Industries, has been particularly busy since its launch in October, providing work and refuge to those who have lost their jobs, their homes, their families or all three during the worst of the pandemic.

Lord Dannatt, a Crossbench peer, has the consolation that his parliamentary email remained unviolated.

He is confident that his personal email is, once again, beyond the reach of hackers.

The Tommy Club, a military veterans' charity which runs a village in Kent and operates a factory in tandem with Royal British Legion Industries (pictured) was mentioned in spoof email

The Tommy Club, a military veterans’ charity which runs a village in Kent and operates a factory in tandem with Royal British Legion Industries (pictured) was mentioned in spoof email

Lord Dannatt says his email is secure once more, after hackers sent a spoof email from the account. Pictured: Hacker, stock photo

Lord Dannatt says his email is secure once more, after hackers sent a spoof email from the account. Pictured: Hacker, stock photo

‘The spoof email was, fortunately, not linked to a virus and a highly secure password is now in place,’ he assures me.

But there is one person deserving of special sympathy. ‘The mobile phone number is not mine,’ he explains.

‘The poor person who owns that number has been plagued by calls.’ 

Emma Thynn seen at the 23rd Mobo Awards taking place on December 9 2020

Emma Thynn seen at the 23rd Mobo Awards taking place on December 9 2020

Emma is back on the (virtual) red carpet 

Locked down for much of the year at Longleat in Wiltshire, the Marchioness of Bath was delighted to return to the red carpet this week.

Having dazzled in the ballroom last year in Strictly Come Dancing, the 34-year-old was celebrating music of a different kind at the MOBO Awards, which honours music of black origin including hip hop, grime, R&B, soul, reggae, jazz, gospel and African.

Emma, who was presenting an award, attended a ‘virtual red carpet’ which was streamed online ahead of last night’s West London ceremony.

Slipping into a £1,095 Galvan blue sequined dress, the mother-of-two, who is married to Ceawlin Thynn, 8th Marquess of Bath, was perhaps a little out of practice in the spotlight.

‘Got the giggles at the end,’ she admits.

Diva Joan puts her feet in it 

Two women kneel in front of Dame Joan Collins to put silver-studded stilettos on

Two women kneel in front of Dame Joan Collins to put silver-studded stilettos on

Most Hollywood actresses fear being labelled a diva on set but Dame Joan Collins is proudly relishing her status as one.

The Dynasty star shared a picture of herself yesterday sitting down wearing a black crushed velvet off-the-shoulder ball gown while not one, but two women kneel in front of her to put silver-studded stilettos on.

‘Who puts their own shoes on during a photo-shoot?’ the evergreen actress asks playfully, describing herself as a ‘diva’ and her helpers as ‘handmaidens . . . or footmaidens in this case!’

Despite being worth over £200 million, Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton concedes there are some luxuries in life his money can’t buy.

‘When I get a Monday off after racing, I take my bulldog Roscoe down to the beach and sit and throw a stone with him — that’s luxury,’ he sighs.

‘I’ve had most of the things I’ve ever wanted but I can never get enough time.’ 

   

More from Sebastian Shakespeare for the Daily Mail…

 George gives Harry a dressing down 

As one of the nation’s best-known cross-dressers, Boy George should have been delighted to see Harry Styles on the cover of Vogue wearing a frock.

But the Eighties pop star declares: ‘What was interesting about the Harry Styles dress thing — and this is a little bit controversial of me to say — is that it was frumpy. It was not sexual at all . . . he looked like a district nurse.’

The Culture Club singer adds: ‘He’s such a beautiful boy, if you put him in a hot little number, temperatures would rise. But to me, it was frumpy, and comedy and non-sexual.’

Claudia Winkleman during Strictly Come Dancing, Saturday December 5

Claudia Winkleman during Strictly Come Dancing, Saturday December 5

Strictly ballZoom chat with Claudia

Already a familiar face on our television screens, Strictly co-host Claudia Winkleman is now hoping to get more intimate with her fans.

The 48-year-old is auctioning off a one-hour video chat — described as ‘Zoom drinks’ — to raise money for the women’s charity, The Lady Garden Foundation.

‘I’ll talk about fringe maintenance, eyeliner and actually anything,’ she tells me. The latest bid stands at £550.

Other lots in the auction, which closes next week, include a makeover from style guru Trinny Woodall and a three-course lunch with comedian Jimmy Carr at Annabel’s in Mayfair.

Just don’t mention his tax affairs.

Norman Cook, aka DJ Fatboy Slim, took violin lessons with a young Keir Starmer at Reigate Grammar School in Surrey but their musical collaboration did not last long.

‘I did but only briefly,’ says Zoe Ball’s ex-husband.

‘Though I have Grade 5 piano, all we played was classical music,’ recalls the chart-topper. ‘Then when I heard The Damned, The Adverts and The Clash, I was like, you can’t play this on the piano so I picked up the guitar and taught myself four chords.

‘With punk you could just pick up the guitar and be in a band immediately.’

Labour peer and former Tony Blair adviser Andrew Adonis is re-reading his diary to assist a forthcoming biography of the ex-PM. ‘Here’s my best entry (18.5.03) — TB did the inevitable and agreed an Olympics bid ‘against the unanimous advice of my unelected cabal and most of my Cabinet’. We won’t get it so it won’t be Dome 2, but it’s still a New Labour folly’. Should we trust the peer’s judgment now he’s a leading enthusiast for HS2? 

Daftest road — in the world 

Labour peer and former Tony Blair adviser Andrew Adonis is re-reading his diary to assist a forthcoming biography of the ex-PM. ‘Here’s my best entry (18.5.03) — TB did the inevitable and agreed an Olympics bid ‘against the unanimous advice of my unelected cabal and most of my Cabinet’. We won’t get it so it won’t be Dome 2, but it’s still a New Labour folly’. Should we trust the peer’s judgment now he’s a leading enthusiast for HS2? 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk