Email error leaks hundreds of Northern Ireland prison officer details

An email error made in Northern Ireland has resulted in the leakage of the personal details of hundreds of prison officers working in the country to an outside contractor.

A spreadsheet was reportedly sent with the names and dates of births of the Northern Ireland Prison Service employees, which could pose a major security threat. Cyber-criminals can easily pull up people's home addresses with such information.

“I can confirm that every prison officer in the Northern Ireland prison service, as well as contractors and civil servants, were affected,” said Finlay Spratt, chairman of the Prison Officers Association.

The BBC claimed that the sensitive information was only sent to one third-party contractor who has been security vetted. The recipient contacted the Department of Justice to make them aware of the mistake and deleted the information that was sent.

The Department of Justice said in a statement: “We can confirm that an incident did occur and that we are content that it was contained. A full investigation is under way and the incident has been reported to the Information Commissioner's Office.”

An internal email was sent to staff to advise that the message was sent by mistake