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UK Defense payments system suffered hacker attack, says Prime Minister

A “malign actor” has likely compromised the payments system used by the UK military, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Tuesday, following reports that China had hacked into a database containing the Forces’ personal information. Armed.

The BBC and other media outlets have reported that China was behind the cyber attack on the payroll system used by the British Ministry of Defense, containing names and bank details of those serving in the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force.

Beijing has rejected any involvement, describing the case as defamation for political purposes.

“There are indications that a malign actor has compromised the Armed Forces payments network,” Sunak told reporters during a visit to a football academy in London.

“I want to reassure people that the Ministry of Defense has already taken steps to take the network offline and ensure that those affected are supported in the right way,” he added.

Neither Sunak nor the Ministry of Defense have commented on possible Chinese involvement.

The premier's office said the company hired to manage the database was under security review and that appropriate action would be taken.

Defense Minister Grant Shapps told the British Parliament that authorities do not believe the data was actually stolen and that there is evidence of possible potential failures at the company, which also works with other government departments.

Shapps also highlighted that he could not rule out the involvement of a foreign state.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin Jian pointed out that Beijing opposes all forms of cyber attacks and rejected any attempt to use cybersecurity issues to defame other countries.

“The relevant remarks by UK politicians are absurd,” he said in response to the British political backlash.

The UK and China have increasingly argued over the issue of hacking. London said in March that Chinese hackers and a Chinese entity were behind two significant attacks in recent years — the one against lawmakers who criticize China and the other on the country's election monitoring body.

This has damaged the relationship between these nations, as the United Kingdom has sought to maintain or even strengthen engagement with China in areas such as trade, investment and climate change.

With national elections due later this year, some British politicians have increasingly begun to address the threat posed by China's alleged spying.

Source: CNN Brasil

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