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Up to 2 million Affected by UK Army Hard Drive Loss

The data loss that hit the MoD which we reported on Friday 10th could potentially affect three times more people than previously thought with up to 2 million caught in the scandal.

The Telegraph reports (opens in new tab) that the external hard disk drive that has gone missing could possibly contain details of up to 1.7 million individuals who have taken the time to enquire about joining in the UK armed forces.

The Minister of State for the Armed Forces, Bob Ainsworth, was forced into admitting that in the worse case scenario, the drive could house the names, addresses and phone numbers of potential army recruits.

To make matters worse, the storage device is also said to contain the details of next of kin, passport and national insurance numbers as well as drivers' licence details and NHS numbers.

The minister in charge of the MoD also said that the drive was not encrypted because "it was stored within a secure site that exceeded the standards necessary for Restricted information".

This hard drive could be a boon for criminals, foreign governments and terrorists since it gives them details of their would-be targets. Furthermore, it highlights the dire state of physical security at so-called secured sites.

It was only last month that three external hard disk drives disappeared from the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency at RAF Innsworth in Gloucestershire under similar circumstances with the details of 50,000 RAF personnel.`

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.