Metropolitan Police staff data at risk after ransomware attack at Stockport printer

Stockport-based Digital ID has been at the center of a data breach and ransomware attack that could affect the personal information for thousands of Metropolitan Police employees.

As well as supplying printers and associated equipment for self-printing, the firm offers printing services, including custom printed cards, photo ID cards, and branded lanyards, including for the Met’s warrant cards and staff passes.

The Sun reported that the attack happened after new warrants and passes were made in a security scheme called Operation Fortress. The report adds that that Digital ID’s managing director was contacted by hackers – apparently located overseas and believed to be extortionists rather than terrorists – who demanded a ransom from the company.

Many Met staff only heard of the hack via the newspaper’s story as the news was posted on the organisation’s internal intranet rather than emailed directly to staff over last week’s bank holiday weekend.

Met commissioner Mark Rowley apologised to staff in a personal message which read: “Whilst it does not include the most personal data such as addresses or financial data, this breach I know causes wider concern.”

Digital ID said in a statement: “We recently identified an IT security incident that affected the company’s systems. We have engaged external cyber-forensic specialists who are conducting an investigation.

“The incident has been reported to the authorities and therefore it would not be appropriate for us to offer any further comment at this time or confirm the involvement of any third party.”

The firm said it was processing orders as normal in the meantime: “There is some backlog which we are working through as speedily as possible, and expect to return to normal operations later this week,” it said.

Digital ID’s other high-profile client is the BBC, though it is believed that they buy blank cards from the Stockport company and print them themselves.

The firm is now reportedly reviewing all the data it holds on the Met.

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