The UK Defence Ministry was targeted in a cyberattack

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Britain’s Ministry of Defence has been the target of a large-scale cyberattack, a government minister confirmed to British media.
On Tuesday, Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride told Sky News, which first reported the hack, that the attack was on a system run by an outside firm but was still a “very significant matter”.
It targeted a third-party payroll system used by the Defence Ministry and included the names and bank details of current and former service personnel of the armed forces, Sky News and the BBC reported.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said a “malign actor” has probably compromised the payments system.
“The MoD [Ministry of Defence] has acted very swiftly to take this database offline.
It’s a third-party database and certainly not one run directly by the MoD,” Stride told Sky.
The ministry first discovered the cyberattack several days ago.
Tobias Ellwood, a former minister in the Conservative government, said the incident has the hallmarks of a Chinese cyberattack.


A government minister confirmed to British media that a significant cyberattack has targeted Britain’s Ministry of Defence.

Although the attack was on a system operated by an outside company, Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride stated on Tuesday that it was still a “very significant matter” to Sky News, which broke the story of the hack initially.

According to Sky News and the BBC, it was directed towards a third-party payroll system that the Defence Ministry used and contained the bank account information and names of both active and retired military personnel.

It is likely that a “malign actor” has compromised the payments system, according to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

According to Sunak, there are signs that a hostile actor has gained access to the military’s payment system.

In order to ensure that those impacted are properly supported, the Ministry of Defence has already taken the necessary steps to take the network offline.

Later in the day, the parliament is expected to hear additional information from Defence Secretary Grant Shapps.

“The Ministry of Defense, or MoD, moved quickly to remove this database from the internet. It’s not a database maintained by the MoD directly; rather, it’s a third-party database, Stride informed Sky. The cyberattack was initially discovered by the ministry a few days ago.

The incident has the characteristics of a Chinese cyberattack, according to Tobias Ellwood, a former minister in the Conservative government.

“This does point to China because it can be as part of a plan, a strategy to see who might be coerced,” the former soldier and chair of a parliamentary defense committee told BBC Radio. “Targeting the names of the payroll system and service personnel’s bank details.”.

Stride, meanwhile, stated that Beijing was not currently being blamed by the government.

He went on, “That is an assumption… we are not saying that at this specific moment.”.

According to British media reports, Shapps is to confirm that a hostile state was the culprit; however, the government is not expected to publicly name China.

Claims are dismissed by China as “utter nonsense.”.

Speaking through a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lin Jian stated that Beijing was against hacking used for political purposes to defame other nations and was against all cyberattacks.

Lin declared on Tuesday that “the statements made by relevant British politicians are utter nonsense.”. China has consistently taken strong measures to prevent and suppress all forms of cyberattacks.

The two nations have been at odds over hacking more and more of late. In March, Britain claimed that Chinese hackers and a Chinese organization were responsible for two high-profile attacks in which lawmakers critical of China were targeted, as well as an attack on the nation’s electoral supervision agency.

It has caused tension in relations as Britain has attempted to balance trying to neutralize China’s security threats with continuing or even increasing engagement in some areas, like trade, investment, and climate change.

But before the general elections that are anticipated later this year, there has been a growing amount of anxiety regarding its purported espionage activity in Britain, and certain British politicians have become more outspoken about the threat that they believe China poses.

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