Government departments have been hacked five times this year, it has been revealed.
The Lord Chancellor's Department, the Northern Ireland Office and the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) have all been the victims of internal and external hackers in the last year.
Defra said there have been two cases of hacking this year, "perpetrated by persons outside the department."
The Lord Chancellor's Department said it was hacked once this year by outside hackers, and once from within. Last year it was hacked twice by outside hackers.
"No protectively marked information was lost in the incidents of theft and the hacking incidents caused no damage to the departmental computer systems," it said.
The attacks were minor, and focused on executive agencies rather than the department itself, said a spokesman.
The Northern Ireland Office confirmed it has also been attacked. Northern Ireland minister Dr John Reid said in a written parliamentary answer: "There was one case of computer hacking in the Northern Ireland Office in 2000 and there have been two this year to date. Of these, two were perpetrated by insiders and one was an attack by an outsider on one of the department's web pages."
The revelations come in response to parliamentary questions from Liberal Democrat MP Paul Burstow.
"My view is that the figures do not give the full picture. It begs the question: are other departments being hacked more effectively?" said Burstow, who plans to follow up on what steps are taken to ensure a consistency of approach across government in recording of hacking and theft.
Seven other departments said they have not been hacked at all this year, including the Home Office, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Cabinet Office, Department for Work and Pensions, the Department for Education and Skills, Department for International Development, and Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
Computer theft is also a problem for departments: the Department of Work and Pensions has had 42 computers stolen this year, the DTI 16, the Lord Chancellor's Department has had 12 stolen, Defra 16 and the Cabinet Office nine.
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