Feeds

ID theft fears as VA loses another hard disc

Security breach veterans do it again

SANS - Survey on application security programs

A hard drive containing the personal data of up to 48,000 veterans is missing, presumed stolen, the Department of Veterans Affairs admitted last week.

The external hard disc was used by a worker at a VA medical facility in Alabama to back up information until it went missing on 22 January. Data included on the drive may have contained personal identifying information on some veterans, and data from research projects. Portions of this data were protected but others may not have been, sparking concerns that it might be misused for the purposes of identity theft.

It's the second time the VA has dealt with such an incident. Last May the theft of a PC from a VA affairs worker sparked a similar, albeit higher profile, security flap. That laptop and its hard drive were eventually turned in by a member of the public who bought it at a market. The VA doubtless hopes the latest missing drive will also be recovered.

The VA and the FBI are both investigating the latest case. Security experts from the VA's Office of Inspector General have seized the employee's computer and are analysing it in an attempt to work out what data is likely to have been exposed.

Alabama Congressman Spencer Bachus told AP that the personal data of up to 48,000 veterans was on the hard drive. Around 20,000 of these records were not encrypted, he added.

Pending results of the investigation, the VA is prepared to send individual notifications and to provide one year of free credit monitoring to people whose information was compromised. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.