MoD data breach: Personal details of the UK Armed Forces were accessed in a hack

  • By Alex Forsyth
  • Political correspondent, BBC News

The personal information of an unknown number of military personnel serving in the UK has been accessed in a major data breach, the BBC has learned.

The hack targeted the payroll system used by the Ministry of Defence, which includes the names and bank details of both current and some former members of the armed forces.

In a very small number of cases, the data may include personal addresses.

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

The data, described as “HMRC-style personal 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 outside contractor and no DoD operational data was obtained.

It is understood that the Ministry of Defense took immediate action and the system was shut down, while investigations are still ongoing.

The Ministry of Defense is working to notify those affected and provide them with support and advice, including educating veterans’ organizations about what happened.

Defense Secretary Grant Shapps is due to inform MPs about the hack in the House of Commons on Tuesday.

He is expected to develop a “multi-point plan” in response, which will include measures to protect affected service men and women.

While it has not been revealed who was behind this hack, it comes amid increasing warnings about cyber security threats facing the UK from hostile countries and third parties.

Public institutions and private companies have also been targeted by hackers demanding ransom.

The Metropolitan Police said it was not involved in any investigation at this stage.

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