Home News UK Armed Forces data stolen by state-linked hackers, lawmakers say

UK Armed Forces data stolen by state-linked hackers, lawmakers say


The personal information of British military personnel was hacked in a major new data breach that may have been orchestrated by a nation-state, senior British politicians said on Tuesday.

They said the cyberattack targeted a third-party payroll system used by the UK Ministry of Defence, leaking the names and bank details of a number of active armed forces members and some veterans, as well as a small number of addresses.

The payroll system, which is not connected to the Ministry of Defense’s internal network, has been shut down, and the government has not publicly accused anyone of causing the data breach, nor has it confirmed British media reports blaming China.

March Britain accuses China The cyberattack compromised the voting records of tens of millions of people and said the Chinese tried but failed to hack into the email accounts of several members of parliament. Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden also announced sanctions against two individuals and a company linked to government-affiliated groups involved in the attacks.

On Tuesday, Cabinet Secretary Mel Stride acknowledged the significance of the latest data breach, adding that the Department of Defense takes cybersecurity extremely seriously.

“The MoD acted quickly to take the database offline – which by the way is a third-party database and not one run directly by the MoD – and will of course provide advice to anyone who may be concerned about this fact and support. The data has been leaked,” he told Sky News first reported cyber attack Monday night.

Stride said a recent policy review focused on “it is these types of risks, particularly when it comes to state actors, so we are very concerned about that,” but declined to say who he believed was responsible.

Other security experts have pointed out that China has previously been aggressive in trying to obtain large amounts of data – including from British voters – and on Tuesday, several British lawmakers were more explicit in their criticism of Beijing.

Tobias Ellwood, a Conservative MP and former chairman of the House of Commons defense select committee, told Sky News that China “may be looking at economically vulnerable countries and thinking they might be coerced in exchange for cash.”

Iain Duncan Smith, a Conservative MP, former party leader and critic of the Chinese government, wrote on social media that the hack of the salary database was “another sign that the British government must admit that China poses a systemic threat to the United Kingdom.” one example”. U.K”

He added: “No more pretending that China is a nefarious actor supporting Russia with money and military equipment, working with Iran and North Korea on a new axis of totalitarian states.”

Defense Secretary Grant Shapps will speak in the House of Commons on Tuesday afternoon “to set out a multi-point plan to support and protect personnel,” the government said in a statement.

John Healy, who spoke on behalf of the opposition Labor Party on defense issues, said: “The Defense Minister has raised a lot of serious questions in this regard, particularly from force personnel whose details have been attacked.” He said on social media “Any such hostile behavior is completely unacceptable,” they wrote.

When asked about the reports, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lin Jian was briefly dismissive.

“The remarks made by relevant British politicians are complete nonsense,” Mr Lin told a regular news conference in Beijing on Tuesday. “China has always firmly opposed and cracked down on all forms of cyber attacks, and firmly opposed the use of cyber security issues to achieve political goals and wantonly smear other countries.”

Chris Buckley Reporting from Taipei.

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