UPDATE III: I just received the following statement from the Office for National Statisitcs in the UK
“Census data secure
The Office for National Statistics reaffirmed today (Wednesday) that personal census information is secure and an allegation made yesterday that it has been hacked is without foundation.
Census Director, Glen Watson, said:
“I can reassure the public that their census records are secure. We have strict measures in place protecting the nation’s census information. The claim that hackers got in looks like a hoax and our investigation concluded that there is no sign of any suspicious activity. The alleged hackers have also denied any involvement.
“However, we are not complacent and will remain vigilant. The security and confidentiality of census data remain our top priority.””
UPDATE II: Recent tweets on the LulzSec Twitter account deny any truth to the UK Census data rumours.
UPDATE: The Metropolitan Police Cental e-crime Unit PCeU have confirmed that a 19 year-old man has been arrested in connection with LulzSec activity. If LulzSec preparation was in anyway similar to that of Wikileaks, should expect to start seeing mass release of previously witheld information?
In a surprising and worrying development, an unconfirmed post on Pastebin, purportedly from Lulz Sec, claims that they are in possession of the entire UK census data for 2011.
So far this claim has not been backed up on the LulzSec Twitter account, which is their usual habit, although a couple of prior post do lend some credence to it
Yesterday they tweeted
“Government hacking is taking place right now behind the scenes“
and a few hours ago, they posted a couple of statements that are similar in tone to the PasteBin document:
No details are included in the PasteBin post regarding how the information was obtained, but the messages posted so far seem to indicate a leak rather than an intrusion or hack.
If this claim turns out to be true it means the personal details of every UK citizen, names, addresses, religion, family details, income levels, professional details are in the hands of a group who have already shown they have no objection to releasing illegally obtained material publicly.
This could undermine the confidence of the nation and possibly others to hand over sensitive information to a civil service that has already once demonstrated its inability to encrypt or safeguard it from loss.
Currently refusal to fill in a census is a criminal offence in the UK, will we be looking at mass criminality when the next census rolls around?
Lockheed Martin are currently responsible for the UK census. I have approached them to confirm or deny this claim and am awaiting a statement.