Data relating to about 120 army recruits was offered for sale on the dark web
Britain’s computerised army recruitment system has been closed for most of the war in Ukraine after candidate data was compromised in a possible hack, prompting alarmed officials to suspend its operations.
The enrolment portal has been offline since mid-March, when it was shut as a precaution when data relating to an estimated 120 army recruits was discovered being offered for sale on the dark web.
Defence sources said they would not comment on whether Russia or Russian actors were involved, although there is a suggestion it was a low-level compromise because it was unclear if there had been a hack or if someone had simply obtained a screen grab or print out.
A British army spokesperson said: “Following the compromise of a small selection of recruit data, the army’s online recruitment services were temporarily suspended pending an investigation.
“This investigation has now concluded allowing some functionality to be restored and applications to be processed.”
Hacking of soldiers’ details has been a feature of the war in Ukraine, with hacker group Anonymous claiming to have released personal details of 120,000 Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine in early April.
The internal Defence Recruitment System has now been restored, the army said, after a lengthy investigation, but the external online portal remains down and the problem has complicated army recruitment for over five weeks of the two-month war in Ukraine. Emergency systems have been used to handle candidate recruitment.