Northern Ireland news

Police set up a special team to investigate major data breach

The PSNI said they are seeking to establish if it is the data owner

THE PSNI have set up a special investigations team to look at the circumstances around the breach of sensitive data of private citizens and businesses.

The team will be looking at establishing how a pen drive containing personal information was plugged into a device that was returned to loyalists under investigation.

Thousands of documents - some encrypted but others easily accessible - containing details and passwords of numerous private citizens and local companies were leaked to loyalists in the major data breach, which is being examined by the Information Commissioner.

Assistant Chief Constable Barbara Gray, who is heading up the team, said “we take these allegations extremely seriously and have now commenced an investigation" into the contents of The Irish News report yesterday.

"To date, it remains the case that PSNI has not been made aware of any data loss through our internal reporting mechanisms," she said.

"We are seeking to validate the contents of the article and establish if PSNI is indeed the data owner."

ACC Gray added: "We appeal to anyone who may have knowledge or possession of the alleged pen drive to contact police."

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