MoD data breach: UK Armed Forces personal details accessed in hack

  • By Alex Forsyth
  • Political Correspondent, BBC News

The personal information of an unknown number of UK soldiers has been accessed in a significant data breach, the BBC understands.

The hack targeted the payroll system used by the Ministry of Defense, which included the names and bank details of current and some past members of the armed forces.

To a very small extent, the data may contain unique addresses.

It is not known who is behind the hack or what the data may be used for.

The data, described as “personal HMRC-style information”, relates to current and former members of the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force over a number of years.

The system was managed by an external contractor and no operational MoD data was received.

It appears the MoD has taken immediate action and the computer has been taken offline while investigations are underway.

The MoD is in the process of notifying and providing support and advice to victims, including informing ex-servicemen organizations of what happened.

Defense Secretary Grant Shabbs is due to brief MPs on the hack in the Commons on Tuesday.

He is expected to lay out a “multi-pronged plan” in response that will include action to protect affected service men and women.

While it has not been revealed who is behind the hack, it comes amid increased warnings about the cyber-security threats the UK faces from hostile countries and third parties.

Public institutions and private companies are also targeted by hackers who demand ransom.

The Metropolitan Police said that they are not involved in any investigation at this stage.

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