Feeds

Two teens charged over VA laptop theft

Relax. It's just random

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

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. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
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.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
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?