Aussie politician blames hackers for sex scandal

Suspended Aussie MP Craig Thomson has decided to get techy when it comes to a scandal he is involved in down under.

Thomson was suspended after it was discovered that in 2005 and 2007 he visited prostitutes and escort services using trade union funds. This was when he was at the top of the Health Services Union.

Thomson, however, blames evil hackers for ruining his career by cloning his phone. He claims that he was a victim of ID theft and never met with any ladies of the night on the union’s dollar.

He had alibis for some of the allegations but for the rest he did not have a “neat explanation”. He then added a “possibility was the issue of phone cloning” and identity theft.

It would appear that Thomson would have been better off claiming that his phone was the victim of an alien abduction.

IT security expert Chris Gatford, director of Hacklabs, told the Sydney Morning Herald that phone cloning was archaic because it was done on analogue mobile phones which were phased out over a decade ago.

Cloning a GSM device even back in 2005 would have involved a lot of technical challenges and was unlikely, he said.

It had been thought that Thomson would blame caller ID spoofing to explain how escorts were booked through his phone. But he probably did not mention this because it was less likely than cloning.

Gatford said that ID spoofing, which allows a caller to spoof someone when calling or messaging a third-party’s phone, was more of a party trick.

So if hackers are ruled out then Thomson might have to find other ways of explaining why his phone bill listed calls to prostitutes. Maybe he should have a word with former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi about how to duck such scandals. Berlusconi was charged with having sex with nightclub dancer Karima El Mahroug in 2010 when she was under the age of 18.

He was also charged with abusing his political powers in an attempt to cover up the relationship by trying to persuade the police to release the girl based on a false claim that she was the granddaughter of Hosni Mubarak. Now, that is much more creative than a phone hack excuse.