‘Incredible concern and anger’ among Metropolitan Police after hackers breach data
The Metropolitan Police Service in London, responsible for policing in the capital as well as for several specialist areas nationally, is investigating a hack into one of its suppliers that may have exposed officers’ details.
According to a spokesperson for the force, the investigation was prompted after a company that was responsible for printing its warrant cards — the proof of an officer’s identity and authority — suffered an IT breach.
All of the force’s 47,000 personnel have been notified about the potential exposure of their names, photographs and ranks, although the supplier did not hold data on addresses or phone numbers, as first reported by The Sun newspaper.
It is not clear whether the supplier was attacked by a financially-motivated ransomware gang or if the incident was specifically intended to gain information on police officers and staff.
The National Crime Agency has been called in to investigate over fears that the data could be exploited by organized crime or terrorists to fabricate warrant cards, or to target officers in the force.
Alongside its duties as the territorial police service within Greater London, the Met also staffs national counter-terrorism police, who also make counter-intelligence arrests — such as the five individuals suspected of spying for Russia — alongside parliamentary and diplomatic protection units.
Rick Prior, the vice chair of the Metropolitan Police Federation — the policing union representing more than 30,000 officers — said the incident would cause “incredible concern and anger” among officers.
“We share that sense of fury,” he added. “This is a staggering security breach. We will be holding the Metropolitan Police to account for what has happened.”
Alexander Martin is the UK Editor for Recorded Future News. He was previously a technology reporter for Sky News and is also a fellow at the European Cyber Conflict Research Initiative.