EDS loses MoD hard drive that could contain 100,000 soldiers’ details

The Ministry of Defence has launched an investigation into the loss of a hard drive that, according to reports by the BBC, may contain personal data on 100,000 soldiers and up to 600,000 army applicants, including passport numbers and some bank account details.

IT contractor EDS informed the MoD that it could not account for the hard drive earlier this week. “Following a data audit that we carried out under the terms of the Cabinet Office’s Data Handling Review, we have been unable to account for a removable hard drive that was held in a secure location at our facility in Hook,” EDS said in a statement.

“There is no evidence that security at the site has been breached,” it added.

Last month, IT services provider PA Consulting was dropped from a Home Office contract worth £15 million after one of its employees mislaid a USB stick containing the personal details of 850,000 prisoners. “[This is] a huge blow in a sector where track record and reputation are vitally important,” Ovum analyst Tola Sargeant said at the time.

An investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office in July this year found that the MoD had lost 658 laptops since January.

Meanwhile, HP announced earlier this week that 3,378 jobs in the UK would be cut following its acquisition of EDS in August.

Further reading

PA Consulting data loss sacking ‘is a lesson to all suppliers’
The Home Office has severed a contract with PA Consulting after an employee lost a USB stick containing sensitive data

Government slammed by data breach reports
The MoD and HMRC are being called to account over two high-profile incidents of data loss

Find more stories in the Security & Continuity Briefing Room

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media (now Bonhill Group plc) from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The...

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