Feeds

Two teens charged over VA laptop theft

Relax. It's just random

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Two US teenagers were arrested last weekend for stealing a Veterans' Administration laptop, an incident that proved a major security flap and brought calls for improved information security legislation.

A thief stole the laptop from the Virginia home of a worker at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) during the course of a burglary in early May. At the time, VA officials were quick to blame the data analyst involved for violating agency policy in taking the laptop home. However, it has since emerged that the worker, who was placed on administrative leave during the course of an inquiry, had written permission to take the sensitive data away from VA offices in order to work from home.

Information held on the laptop included the names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers of approximately 26.5m former and acting US servicemen and women dating back to 1975. VA officials went public to warn veterans of the incident. FBI and local law enforcement officials were involved in investigating the security breach.

The laptop and its hard drive ended up for sale on a "black market" near a subway station near Wheaton outside of Washington DC and returned to the authorities by an unidentified woman at the end of June. A preliminary investigation by FBI officials suggests that data has not been accessed since the laptop was stolen, easing fears that the exposed data might have fallen into the hands of identity thieves.

A phone tip-off led to the arrest on Saturday of two suspects, both from Rockville, Maryland: Christian Brian Montano, 19, and Jesus Alex Pineda, 19. Each faces burglary and theft charges, the AP reports. An unnamed male suspect also faces possible charges over the alleged theft, which police describe as a random burglary not motivated by thoughts of profiting from identity theft. ®

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
Microsoft's Euro cloud darkens: US FEDS can dig into foreign servers
They're not emails, they're business records, says court
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks
Black Hat research says proposed protocol will bork network probes, flummox firewalls
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
Plug and PREY: Hackers reprogram USB drives to silently infect PCs
BadUSB instructs gadget chips to inject key-presses, redirect net traffic and more
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?