The personal details of Greater Manchester Police (GMP) officers have been hacked after the force was targeted in a cyber attack.
Details on warrant cards and identity badges – including names, photos of individuals and police collar numbers or identity numbers – were stolen from the force’s supplier of ID badges.
GMP said no home addresses of officers or any financial information about individuals had been stolen and that the National Crime Agency is leading the investigation.
Assistant chief constable Colin McFarlane confirmed a “third-party supplier” of various organisations – including GMP – has been targeted.
“At this stage, it’s not believed this data includes financial information,” he said.
“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.”
The force, like many others, uses covert officers and has a sizeable counter-terror unit.
It comes after officers at two other police forces had their data leaked within the past six weeks.
In late August, London’s Metropolitan Police said it had been made aware of unauthorised entry to the IT systems of one of its suppliers, which had access to the names, ranks and vetting levels of its officers and staff.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), meanwhile, were left “incredibly vulnerable” by a massive data breach earlier that month.
The breach involved the surname, initials, rank or grade, work location and departments of all PSNI staff, but did not involve the officers’ and civilians’ private addresses.
The leak came as a result of information published in response to a Freedom of Information request, which was later taken down.
Assistant chief constable Chris Todd told the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee last week that almost 4,000 officers and staff have come forward with concerns after that data leak.
Committee chair Simon Hoare said it could potentially cost the force £240m in security and legal costs.
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