THE Metropolitan Police were on red alert tonight after details of officers and staff were hacked in a massive security breach.
All 47,000 personnel were warned of the risk their photos, names and ranks had been stolen when cyber crooks penetrated the IT systems of a contractor printing warrant cards and staff passes.
Information taken also included vetting levels and ID numbers.
The National Crime Agency has been called in amid fears terrorists or organised gangs could use the stolen data.
Metropolitan Police Service bosses sent a message to staff urging them to “remain vigilant”.
They added: “We are working with the company to understand the scale of the breach of information held about MPS staff and officers.
“The company had access to names, ranks, photo, vetting levels and identification numbers for officers and staff.
“It did not hold personal information such as address, phone numbers or financial details.
“Security measures are being taken by the MPS.”
It comes after details of 10,000 police personnel in Northern Ireland were mistakenly disclosed.
Ex-Met commander John O’Connor branded the latest breach “utterly outrageous”.
He said: “Anyone using these details to produce a warrant card or pass could gain access to a police station or secure area.
“There is also a huge concern that photographs of police working on undercover units, surveillance or in sensitive areas like counter-terrorism could fall into the wrong hands.
“This data breach has put safety of police at risk and questions need to be asked about why IT security of this company was so slapdash.”
Met Police Federation vice chair Rick Prior added: “To have personal details leaked will cause incredible concern and anger.
“We share their sense of fury at this staggering security breach. It could do incalculable damage.”
It was not known if the hackers had asked for a ransom from the printing firm or were trying to target officers and staff.