MoD loses unencrypted SAS hard drive

An unencrypted hard drive, containing confidential information on an SAS training exercise, has been lost.

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An unencrypted hard drive, containing confidential information on an SAS training exercise, has been lost.

The hard drive is likely to have contained information on the exercise itself as well as those who took part, reports suggested. It held sensitive information about the regiment's military and counter-terrorism manoeuvres, an unnamed source told the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

News of the loss, from the Signals Regiment, emerged during an MoD equipment audit, but it is not known when the loss took place. The MoD has now launched an investigation into how it happened.

Conservative shadow defence secretary Liam Fox said the loss was “deeply concerning”. He added: 'We will want to know the full picture from the Ministry of Defence as soon as possible to ensure that neither civilians nor military personnel are at risk."

The MoD said “only unclassified information which was being used on a training exercise” was on the drive.

In January, it emerged that the had lost 440 IT devices last year, including computers, hard drives and memory sticks.

Last October, the MoD admitted that an unencrypted hard drive, which had been lost by contractor EDS, may have contained sensitive details of 1.7 million armed forces personnel and potential recruits.

The MoD has encrypted over 20,000 laptops.