DORSET hospital workers have been caught up in a high-level cyber-security attack that has put hundreds at risk across the country, the Daily Echo can exclusively reveal.

Computer hackers have stolen private files from the company Landauer, which is employed by the NHS to monitor radiation levels among staff.

They hold personal details such as names, dates of birth, national insurance numbers and radiation dose of workers across the county including from Royal Bournemouth Hospital and Poole Hospital.

The company confirmed the attack, which has left hundreds of people across the country vulnerable to identity fraud, did not just affect the NHS but a ‘number of clients’.

The government’s newly formed National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) set up to fight the rising threat of cyber-attacks refused to reveal information about the hackers including where they were from or exactly how many people are affected.

The NCSC, which is part of intelligence agency GCHQ and was officially opened by the Queen earlier this month, tackled 188 attacks in its first three months.

One Royal Bournemouth Hospital worker, who did not want to be named, said workers there were left letters in the staff room at 4pm last Friday – despite the security breach happening last year.

The letter, seen by the Daily Echo, read: “Important information about your personal data. We want to let you know about a cyber-security attack upon one of our service providers, Landauer UK, which has resulted in the name, date of birth and national insurance number of a number of individuals being copied.

“Unfortunately you are among those affected.”

The worker said: “A lot of us are really angry about it and are appalled by the complete lack of support. Everyone seems to be keeping very quiet about it and there is little information about the hackers.

“We’ve been told it happened in September but we are so worried because within that time anything could have happened or may still happen.”

A Government spokesperson said: “NHS Digital is working to support the organisations affected by this external breach, and health and care organisations are aware of their responsibility to support affected staff.

“This government takes digital security extremely seriously and our five year National Cyber Security Strategy is supported by £1.9 billion of transformational investment.

“There is an increased cyber threat to the UK and when attacks do happen, people and businesses can get advice and support from the government’s new National Cyber Security Centre.”

In a joint statement Poole Hospital and RBH said they reported the breach but added NHS staff across the country are affected.

It added: “All staff affected have been written to and offered appropriate support.”

A spokesman for Landauer said: “We confirm that one of Landauer Europe’s UK servers was the target of a security attack in late 2016 which unfortunately resulted in data held on behalf of a number of clients being compromised.

“Landauer’s security team acted swiftly to secure our UK system within 24 hours of any data being compromised and ensure that the data compromised was kept to a minimum. Following the incident, we engaged a leading global firm of forensic IT specialists to conduct a thorough investigation to identify the scope of data compromised. We are confident that we have identified all affected clients and have undertaken a program to notify them of the incident. In the interests of client confidentiality, we will not be providing further details of the incident at this stage or providing further comment.”

Landauer has arranged for staff affected to have free access to the credit monitoring agency Experian for the next 12 months.