A MAJOR Garda security alert into phone and email hacking of the country's highest ranking officers is under way.
The Mail can reveal that deputy commissioner Noirín O'Sullivan has ordered an investigation into apparently widespread phone and email hacking of senior gardaí.
It is understood the investigation has established that Pulse, the Garda intelligence system, has not been compromised.
However, senior security sources say that the emails and phones of senior gardaí have been hacked.
The investigation is attempting to establish the extent of the hacking and for what purpose confidential garda information is being targeted.
The probe has established that the head of police in another European country has had his email illegally accessed by an Irish-based hacker.
At least two other senior police officers in other European forces have had their email compromised.
The investigation is being taken 'extremely seriously' by Garda management and checks are under way on senior officers' phones and emails to see if they have been illegally accessed.
Some gardaí have had their phones and emails hacked, but because of the sensitive nature of the investigation, senior sources could not reveal what exactly has been accessed. A file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions. One key aspect of the probe is trying to establish for what purpose the hacking was initiated. It is understood that gardaí checking to see if online Irish based hackers are sharing the confidential information that has been hacked with others internationally...
As one of the State's two deputy commissioners, Noirín O'Sullivan holds the second most senior rank in the force, with responsibility for operational policing and national security.
The fact she ordered the investigation indicates how seriously the matter is being taken by Garda management.