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.`