Sunderland seeks security assurances following MOD cyber attack

Following the Defence Secretary’s statement on the cyber attack where a malign actor hacked into the armed forces payment network, James Sunderland seeks assurances a diplomatic protest has been made, that firewall protocols given to defence contractors match those used by the MOD itself and that no malign actor can gain access to bank accounts.

James Sunderland (Bracknell) (Con)

As an affected veteran, I feel a responsibility for representing and championing my former colleagues in this matter. Will the Defence Secretary please assure me on three particular areas? First, will he assure me that an appropriate diplomatic protest has been made, or will be made, to the guilty party? Secondly, will assurance be given to the House in due course that the firewall protocols given to defence contractors will match or exceed those given to the MOD itself? Thirdly, will he assure me that the information that has been hacked, if indeed it has been hacked, will be sacrosanct so that no malign actor can gain access to bank accounts after this event?

The Secretary of State for Defence (Grant Shapps)

I thank my hon. and gallant Friend. He makes three excellent points, and I absolutely assure him that the guilty party will be brought to book. I also assure him that the MOD was not responsible for failing to issue correct instructions, in terms of the contractual requirement to keep this data safe.

Members on both sides of the House have pushed this point hard, and I will make sure that it is not buried or lost in process. I will return to this House. I cannot promise to do that in the next few days, as the Butler process takes a while, but I will not allow it to drop. The House has my undertaking on that issue.