London Metropolitan Police has made headlines due to a sophisticated cyber attack that resulted in a significant data breach. Upon delving into the specifics, the agency fell victim to hackers who successfully breached the database of a third-party contractor responsible for storing and managing data associated with the police force. This data encompassed the issuance of warrant cards and staff passes.
The MET Police officials are concerned that the exposure of information pertaining to approximately 47,000 police officers could give rise to apprehensions regarding the safety of personnel’s families and the overall professional integrity of the officers.
According to reports from Cybersecurity Insiders, the contractor had retained critical records, including photographs, ranks, and ID particulars of active police staff. However, this contractor had not been authorized to retain certain details like addresses, phone numbers, and financial information such as salary data.
Rick Prior, who leads the Metropolitan Police Federation (MPF), expressed his anxieties about the data leak. He underscored the potential seriousness of the situation, revealing that it was causing sleepless nights for him and his team.
In response to the incident, the National Crime Agency (NCA) has been entrusted with investigating the matter. It was determined that the compromised information could potentially fall into the hands of criminals, including terrorists, who might exploit the stolen data. The cyber attack also exposed high-ranking officials, including Dame Lynne Owens and Sir Mark Rowley, who respectively hold the positions of Deputy Commissioner and Commissioner.
Interestingly, just a month prior, the same agency was in the spotlight for a different reason. A notable social media giant, Facebook, was reportedly discovered gathering information related to criminal activities through its Meta Pixel tracking tool, which had been embedded on the website of the Met Police. Subsequently, a report published by ‘The Observer’ verified the unauthorized access to information in a highly publicized exposé.