Greater Manchester Police has been the victim of a major cyber attack in which thousands of officers’ warrant card details have been stolen.
The hack is believed to have been aimed at a contactor firm used to produce the force’s warrant cars. Officers and staff were informed of the breach of their data yesterday.
The incident follows a near-identical cyber attack against the Metropolitan Police last month.
ACC Colin McFarlane of GMP said: ‘We are aware of a ransomware attack affecting a third-party supplier of various UK organisations, including GMP, which holds some information on those employed by GMP. At this stage, it’s not believed this data includes financial information.
‘We understand how concerning this is for our employees so, as we work to understand any impact on GMP, we have contacted the Information Commissioners Office and are doing everything we can to ensure employees are kept informed, their questions are answered, and they feel supported.
‘This is being treated extremely seriously, with a nationally led criminal investigation into the attack.’
Last month, Scotland Yard feared the names and pictures of officers were in the hands of hackers following a massive security breach.
The force’s 47,000 personnel were warned of the data leak when hackers managed to penetrate the IT systems of a contractor printing warrant cards and staff passes.
Vetting levels and ID numbers were also feared to be among the information taken. The National Crime Agency was called in amid fears terrorists or organised gangs could use the stolen data.
A Met Police spokesman said last month: ‘We have been made aware of unauthorised access to the IT system of a Met supplier. We are working with the company to understand if there has been any security breach relating to Metropolitan Police data.
‘The company had access to names, ranks, photos, vetting levels and pay numbers for officers and staff.
‘The company did not hold personal information such as addresses, phone numbers or financial details. Security measures have been taken by the MPS as a result of this report. The MPS has reported the matter to the National Crime Agency. The Information Commissioner’s Office is also aware.’