Feeds

US veterans' data exposed after burglary

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

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

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). ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
Bose says today IS F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.