UK military personnel data accessed in hack

Personal information from the British armed forces has been accessed in a significant data breach, with China suspected to be the culprit behind the attack.

The personal details of an unknown number of people serving in the UK military have been accessed, likely by China, a major UK news outlet has reported.

Britain's Ministry of Defence (MoD) has not yet commented on the report, but Defence Minister Grant Shapps is due to make a statement to Parliament on Tuesday.

The government would not name the country involved, but it understood China was behind an attack on a payroll system that secured names and bank details of current service personnel and some veterans.

According to the BBC, attackers accessed data that relates to current and former members of the Royal Air Force, Army, and the Royal Navy over a period of several years.

The Sky and BBC did not provide details of their sourcing for the China attribution, but both quoted “sources.”

British Work and Pensions Minister Mel Stride said the database, which was managed by an external contractor, had been taken offline quickly and that more information on the attack would be provided soon.

"The MoD has acted very swiftly to take this database offline. It's a third-party database and certainly not one run directly by the MoD," he told Sky News.

Britain, the US, and several other countries have recently accused Chinese hackers and a Chinese entity of being behind two high-profile attacks in recent years, targeting lawmakers critical of China and the country's electoral watchdog.

The Chinese embassy in London said at the time that those claims were "totally fabricated."

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