Stolen VA Data Affects National Security

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The Washington Post reports that 80% of active duty personnel data were included in the computer stolen from the home of a VA employee. This not only raises concerns about identity theft but also the safety of the families of those currently serving.

The department announced that personal data for as many as 1.1 million active-duty military personnel, 430,000 National Guard members and 645,000 reserve members may have been included on an electronic file stolen May 3 from a department employee’s house in Aspen Hill. The data include names, birth dates and Social Security numbers, VA spokesman Matt Burns said.

Another worry is that the information could reach foreign governments and their intelligence services or other hostile forces, allowing them to target service members and their families, the experts said.

Source: Washington Post (Thanks to Viv for the tip!)

Written by MCruz on June 7th, 2006 with 1 comment.
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Millions of Veterans Data Exposed to Identity Theft

The Department of Veterans Affairs today announced that a computer containing personal, identifying data for over 26 million American veterans was stolen from a VA employee’s home this month. They have set up a site to help those affected by this data breach. The compromised data included names, social security numbers and the dates of birth. This is enough information for unscrupulous individuals to use for identity theft.

A VA employee took files home as part of department work on a data collation project to simplify some VA processes. Subsequently, someone broke into the employee’s home and stole the data. The career employee, a data analyst, was not authorized to take the files home, said VA secretary Jim Nicholson in a teleconference with reporters.

Update: There are currently two companies who are providing discounted identity theft protection for veterans, LifeLock and MyPublicInfo.

Source: Government Computer News

Written by MCruz on May 22nd, 2006 with no comments.
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Missing Data – Wells Fargo Mortgage Customers

A computer containing sensitive information belonging to an unidentified number of mortgage customers went missing – possibly stolen last Friday. Details are still sketchy. The computer was being transported between Wells Fargo locations. Customers whose information was stored on the computer will be notified by May 30.

Update: Wells Fargo is offering a one-year free credit-monitoring subscription to customers whose personal information was on the missing computer.

The computer, which was being transported by an unidentified global shipping company between Wells Fargo locations, had names, addresses, Social Security numbers and mortgage loan account numbers of some Wells Fargo mortgage customers and potential customers.

Source: Pioneer Press

Written by MCruz on May 9th, 2006 with 1 comment.
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Security breach at Ohio University exposes alumni data

The data theft exposes over 300,000 people and organizations. People who may be affected are urged to be on alert for any possible attempt to misuse their personal identity. The school has setup a site for those who need more information.

The breached computer system contained biographical information on more than 300,000 individuals and organizations, including the Social Security numbers of more than 137,000 people, according to university officials. The files did not contain credit-card or bank information.

Source: Akron Beacon Journal, OH

Written by MCruz on May 2nd, 2006 with 1 comment.
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Personal Data lost for 17,000 LIRR workers

Backup tapes containing sensitive data were stolen out of a delivery van early this month.

A Boston-based company that stores records for the Long Island Railroad lost personal data including Social Security numbers for about 17,000 of the transit agency’s current and former employees, apparently while the information was being delivered by a driver in New York.

New York police on Thursday said the loss also involved data tapes belonging to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the loss was reported by the driver while his van was parked outside a VA hospital in the Bronx.

Source: MSN

Written by MCruz on April 27th, 2006 with no comments.
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Data Breach at the University of Texas – Austin

The personal data breach, the university’s second in three years, included some Social Security numbers and “possibly other biographical data,” according to a statement. It was announced over the weekend that someone had broken into the McCombs School of Business computer systems. They were able to access a database of approximately 197,000 records.

An investigation has determined that information from the business school’s computer system was obtained as early as April 11, including some Social Security numbers and possibly other biographical data, including those of alumni, faculty, staff and current and prospective students of the business school as well as corporate recruiters.

School officials are working with authorities to determine the extent of the breach. “It is our highest priority to notify those who may be affected by this security breach,” said William Powers Jr., the university’s president. “We have notified the attorney general and his Internet enforcement unit and are doing everything we can to protect those whose information has been accessed unlawfully.”

Source: UTA School of Business

Written by MCruz on April 24th, 2006 with no comments.
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