Thousands of police officers have their names and pictures stolen after cyber-attack on Greater Manchester Police

14 September 2023, 14:49

Greater Manchester Police hit by cyber-attack
Greater Manchester Police hit by cyber-attack. Picture: Alamy

By StephenRigley

Greater Manchester Police has been the victim of a cyber attack in which thousands of officers' warrant card details have been stolen.

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The hack is believed to have been aimed at a contactor firm used to produce the force's warrant cards. 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 Greater Manchester Police
ACC Colin McFarlane of Greater Manchester Police. Picture: Supplied

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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 taken by hackers following a massive security breach.

Earlier in August, it emerged that the data of 10,000 Northern Ireland police personnel was mistakenly disclosed.

The Met'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.