Major Hacking Incident Exposes Data Of Military Personnel In UK Ministry Of Defence Breach — Is China To Blame?

The sensitive details of an undisclosed number of active U.K. military personnel have been compromised in a major breach of data security. According to media reports, the Chinese state was behind the cyber attack.

What Happened: The UK government is set to disclose the breach to Members of Parliament on Tuesday. Although the government has not named any country involved, Sky News has accused China of being the culprit behind the attack.

The breach targeted both current and former service personnel, compromising their names and bank details. However, the report notes that every employee will receive their salary for this month.

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Tobias Ellwood, a Conservative MP and former soldier, told the report that China “was probably looking at the financially vulnerable with a view that they may be coerced in exchange for cash.”

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps is expected to address the Commons and unveil a “multi-point plan” to safeguard the affected service members. The MoD has assured that the contractor system, which was breached, is not linked to the main MoD computer systems and has been taken down for review.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not immediately respond to Benzinga’s request for comments.

Why It Matters: This is not the first time that China has been accused of cyber-attacks on Western nations.

In March 2024, In March, the U.K. government made a public accusation that China was responsible for a hack in August 2021 aimed at accessing the details of millions of voters stored by the Electoral Commission. In the same month, Google reported a surge in China’s government-backed exploitation of zero-day vulnerabilities.

Moreover, Australia and New Zealand have levied accusations against China, alleging that it orchestrated cyberattacks targeting their democratic institutions.

Previously, the U.S. has voiced significant concern. In February, FBI Director Christopher Wray cautioned that China’s clandestine placement of offensive malware within critical infrastructure networks in the U.S. has reached an unprecedented scale.

Photo Courtesy: Andrew Linscott on

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Disclaimer: This content was partially produced with the help of Benzinga Neuro and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.

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