More than 100 special forces troops were publicly identified in a data breach. This page explains how the special forces data breach happened.
In June 2021 it was revealed that over 100 special forces troops were publicly identified in an email security breach.
Given that the names of those in special forces units are strictly protected, this is a severe breach that could have had serious repercussions on UK intelligence and those whose data had been revealed.
The breach included the details of:
The special forces personnel data was included in a list of troops getting promoted in unredacted format. An error saw this list emailed to hundreds of civil servants and soldiers regardless of their security clearance. If this information fell into the wrong hands the consequences could have been fatal.
See our answers to the FAQs we get asked about the special forces data breach.
The special forces data breach happened when a list of troops getting promoted was emailed to hundreds of civil servants and soldiers without the proper security clearance.
The breach included the details of 40 members of extremely sensitive intelligence and communication units, 39 members of the Special Forces Support Group (SFSG), 14 Special Air Service (SAS) soldiers, 5 members of the Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR), 4 Special Boat Service (SBS) troops and 1 operative of E Squadron (the UK’s most secretive military intelligence unit).
An investigation into the breach was launched and copies of the un-redacted document were ordered to be destroyed. A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: ‘The leak of this information is being investigated and it would be inappropriate to comment further.’