China has been accused of hacking the UK Ministry of Defense payroll system. The BBC and Sky News reported that the serious data breach exposed the personal information of active military personnel and veterans. The information mainly consists of full names and bank details, but in some cases may also include personal addresses.

Those affected are being notified and Defense Secretary Grant Shapps is due to provide MPs with a more detailed update today. It is expected to outline an action plan to protect anyone whose data has been compromised. All salaries are expected to be paid as usual this month.

In a statement, China’s foreign minister said the country “firmly opposes and fights all forms of cyber attacks” and “rejects the use of this issue politically to defame other countries.” However, this is not the first time the UK and China have clashed over security concerns. In March, UK Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden accused China of being behind an August 2021 Electoral Commission hack. on BBC reported at this time. The UK also banned TikTok — owned by Chinese tech company ByteDance — from all government devices in March 2023, requiring safeguards.