Data Breach Leaves Thousands of UK Military Personnel Vulnerable

According to British authorities, the identities and financial information of thousands of active-duty British military personnel were leaked in a payroll data breach.

A third-party payment system that stored the bank data of up to 272,000 active-duty and former military members and veterans was compromised, according to the Ministry of Defense. There may have been instances when addresses were also made public.

Officials promptly disabled the system and began investigating the breach and any shortcomings by the contractor, SSCL, which boasts of being the biggest supplier of vital government business support services, according to Defense Secretary Grant Shapps.

While the government does not currently have evidence to reach that decision, Shapps told members in the House of Commons that they cannot rule out state participation.

Defense Secretary Grant Shapps will lay out the multi-point strategy to assist and safeguard people in a statement that the Ministry of Defense said will be delivered this week in the House of Commons.

British media reported that the intrusion is believed to have been carried out by Chinese hackers, but the ministry chose not to comment on the matter.

Cabinet Minister Mel Stride said they are not reporting that right now. John Healey, a spokesperson for the Labour Party’s defense, questioned why, given that the media had been informed, the government was not ready to acknowledge that China was responsible for the assault.

According to British media, the government will point fingers at unfriendly and malicious individuals but will remain mute on the exact nation that is to blame.

No indication of data removal has been uncovered so far by investigators.

In March, the United States and Britain said that a group of hackers associated with the Chinese government had launched a series of hostile cyberattacks on various individuals and organizations, including journalists, companies, pro-democracy campaigners, and the election watchdog in the United Kingdom.

A group of people were sanctioned by both nations, and seven persons, all of whom were thought to be Chinese, were charged by the United States with hacking.