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‘Hackable’ Apple watches banned from government Cabinet meetings

Ministers have been banned from wearing Apple watches – and presumably any other sort of ‘smart' watch or device – during Cabinet meetings in an overabundance of caution over hacking attacks.

In David Cameron's government, several ministers including Michael Gove wore the devices even though mobile phones, which were seen as a hacking risk, had already been banned.

Now the smart wearables have been added to the list out of concern that “the Russians are trying to hack everything”, according to a report in The Telegraph.

“Security is a battle of inches, and even the one inch square device on your wrist may be surface area the bad guys can attack. Seeing that ministers were already barred from bringing smart phones and other electronics into these sensitive meeting spaces makes me think there wasn't much a bad guy could do with a watch alone,” said Jonathan Sander, VP of product strategy at Lieberman Software.

“Watches are mostly tethered to phones and tend to be simply watches when unable to couple with them. However, under just the right circumstances, you could write a whole spy novel about the pro who took over an Apple Watch microphone and used it to ferry out 30-second-long snips of conversations from the highest levels of British government for blackmail and counter intelligence. You can hardly blame the government for being a bit paranoid. In a world where the US can create viruses that jump air gaps from USB sticks to take out nuclear installations, is it really so farfetched to imagine Siri spying on your government for the other side?”

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