Morrisons employee arrested over payroll data theft

By Graeme Burton
17 Mar 2014 View Comments

An employee at the head office of Morrisons has been arrested over the theft of payroll data at the supermarket chain.

It follows the revelation last week that Morrisons' payroll information had been copied and published online, while a disc containing the information was sent to Yorkshire's Telegraph and Argus daily newspaper.

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Morrisons is the UK's fourth-largest supermarket chain with 569 stores. It launched an investigation into the theft on Friday last week after publishing a warning to staff via email and on its Facebook page. It promised that no members of staff would be left out of pocket as a result of the incident and immediately called in police, as well as specialist computer crime investigators.

West Yorkshire Police is leading the investigation. It confirmed this morning that a man had been arrested over the payroll theft on suspicion of "making or supplying an article for use in fraud".

"An employee of Morrisons has been arrested in Leeds this morning in connection with an investigation into the theft of data from the company. He is currently in custody," detective chief inspector Gary Hooks of Protective Services (Crime) told the Telegraph and Argus.

While it was suspected from the beginning that the payroll data theft was down to an insider, Morrisons has been criticised by computer security experts for lacking sufficient controls over access to such sensitive data, although it is not yet known how the supermarket chain and police identified the suspected culprit. 

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