A recent ransomware attack on a third-party supplier to Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has resulted in the personal data of UK police officers being exposed. The attack targeted a company in Stockport that produces ID cards for various organisations, including GMP, and, as a result, holds personal details of staff. The news has raised concerns that sensitive information about police officers, including those working undercover or in surveillance and intelligence, could become publicly available. GMP has taken the incident seriously and is working with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) and National Crime Security Centre to ensure that employees are kept informed, are supported and have their questions answered, as well as to fully understand the impact of the incident. At this stage, it is not believed that the attackers accessed financial data.
In a statement following the news, Elizabeth Baxter, Head of Cyber Investigations at the ICO, said: "Police officers and staff expect their information to be kept secure, and are right to be concerned when that doesn’t happen. This incident has been reported to us, and we’ll now be looking into what happened, and asking questions on behalf of anyone affected... Organisations must look after employee information, particularly in sectors where the impact of a data breach could be greater. The ICO works to support organisations to get this right so people can feel confident that their information is secure."
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