Suspected China hack hits UK’s defence ministry | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

The UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has been the victim of an alleged Chinese cyber-attack targeting its payroll system, which includes the names and bank details of members of the armed forces, as well as a few thousand home addresses, with China calling the claim a “fabricated and malicious slander”, on Tuesday the 7th of May, reports the British broadcaster BBC.

Defence minister Grant Shapps, speaking to MPs today, will not name a specific culprit, but is expected to warn of the dangers posed by cyber espionage by hostile states.

The system, which for several years held the personal details of current and former members of the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force, was managed by an external contractor, with Cabinet minister Mel Stride saying the government took cyber security “extremely seriously” and

acted “very quickly to take the database offline”, refusing to blame China.

The government has found no evidence that the hackers removed data from the system, but is acting as if they did.

While a formal prosecution may take time, China is suspected given its history of attacks on similar databases, with Conservative MPs expressing concern about the Chinese threat.

Tobias Ellwood, former chairman the Commons Defence Committee, suggested that the attack points to China, possibly as part of a coercion strategy.

Meanwhile, Iain Duncan Smith urged the government to recognise the Chinese threat to the UK, describing it as a malign force supporting Russia and working with other totalitarian states such as Iran and North Korea.

Meanwhile, Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey said

Shapps had “serious questions” to answer.

The Chinese Embassy in the UK categorically denied any involvement in the data breach, stressing that China has no interest in interfering in the UK’s internal affairs.

It called on the UK to “stop spreading false information, stop fabricating so-called China threat stories and stop the anti-China political farce”.

Also read: EU parliamentary staffer arrested in Germany, accused of spying for China

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