Feeds

US veterans' data exposed after burglary

Old soliders' data never dies - it just gets taken away

Intelligent flash storage arrays

A PC containing the personal details of as many as 26.5m US veterans has been stolen from the home of a worker at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), sparking a major security alert.

A thief broke into the data analyst's home earlier this month and stole the computer during the course of a burglary. The laptop shouldn't have been there in the first place because it's against VA policy to take these files home. The unnamed worker involved has been placed on administrative leave pending an inquiry. Meanwhile, FBI and local law enforcement officials are investigating the security breach.

Compromised information includes the names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers of millions of former US servicemen and women. In some cases, home addresses, disability ratings, and information on veterans' partners was also exposed as a result of the apparently random burglary. There is no indication as yet that the data has been used in identity theft scans, but VA officials still issued an alert as a precaution.

"What happened is absolutely unacceptable, but the task at hand is to inform every veteran family so that they can begin taking steps to safeguard their personal information," Veterans of Foreign Wars commander-in-chief Jim Muelle said. He added that workers and officials who may have been at fault for the breach would be held accountable for their actions.

The 26.5m names potential involved represent every military veteran discharged since 1975, and possibly earlier if the individual filed a VA claim. The VA said there is no indication that anyone's medical or financial records were compromised, but the VA decided to go public with the breach anyway in an endeavour to warn veterans of the incident.

The VA will send out individual notification letters to veterans. Vets can also go to firstgov.gov for more informationh. The VA has also set up a toll-free hotline to answer queries from individual vets and to provide advice on consumer identity protection. This call centre can be reached on 1-800-FED INFO (333-4636). ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.