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05/23/2006 02:54 PM ID: 54479 Permalink   

Personal Data of 26.5 Million US Vets Stolen


Thieves have been able to steal the personal data – including Social Security numbers and birth information – of some 26.5 million US veterans that have served in the defence forces and been discharged since 1975.

The data was obtained when a Veterans’ Affairs worker took work home improperly. A VA spokesperson said: "It's highly probable that they do not know what they have. We have decided that we must exercise an abundance of caution..."

So far, there has been no evidence that the data has been used maliciously to steal identities.

    WebReporter: NuttyPrat Show Calling Card      
ASSESS this news: BLOCK this news. Reason:
I remember an occassion around 2002 when something similar happened. The data was stolen from the military's health insurance company. Both thefts could include my information. I'm glad they have now decided to "exercise an abundance of caution..." Not cool.
  by: relacks   05/23/2006 04:25 PM     
you took my story.
  by: rachel1085     05/23/2006 05:39 PM     
  Enough is enough  
The people that maintain these massive databases need to be held legally accountable for all the damage that occurs when they are stolen. If you choose to keep all this damaging information you should be required to take MAJOR precautions to protect it, or pay the price of your folly. The theft of these databases seems to be becoming commonplace. The resulting damage can be overwhelming, especially to the most vulnerable groups, ie the disabled.

The person that stole this database is probably freaking out right now not knowing if he should sell it for millions or trash it and end the evidence trail to his crime.
  by: valkyrie123     05/23/2006 05:56 PM     
i find your comment rude, but not completely out of the realm. my job is to maintain databases. and i take work home with me. so if i get jumped and my work stolen, does that mean i should go to jail? most people take work home. sometimes i have to because i am at another building and cant drive back to the main building. and most employees know what they are carrying around. i do, it doesnt mean im stealing it or gonna steal it. i wanna keep my job and keep supporting my family, i dont wanna run the risk of killing that or my health benefits. now if it was reported "stolen" by the employee themself, then they are probably in on it, because, like i said, most people have info on them when they go home, or else no would need a briefcase. and if they are in on it then they need to be held legally responsible.
  by: trankpill   05/23/2006 06:07 PM     
  doh, round 2  
i jumped the gun a lil sorry, what i wanted to say before i clicked, was that they probably mentioned to someone down the line what that work was they were bringing home and someone hatched a plan with the employee to make a extra bit of moolah, if this is the case, throw the book at 'em. because they may look bad, but there is a chance that they just got robbed by someone casing the joint.
  by: trankpill   05/23/2006 06:09 PM     
Rude, maybe, I’m just tired of seeing government and big business walking on citizen’s rights and victimizing citizens with impunity. Corporations don’t even really exist as people, yet they have many of the same rights. They are allowed to exist at the behest of “we the people”. And we can disallow it, corporations don’t vote.

You don’t see bankers taking bags of money home to count it do you. It wouldn’t mean they were going to steal it either but they don’t do it because they know how valuable it is and how unsecured it would be at home instead of a bank vault. A database of this type of information is as valuable as or more so than a bag of cash. It should never leave a secured vault. The people maintaining these databases are not stupid and are well aware as I know you are of what could happen if this data is stolen and should spare no expense or effort to protect it. These database computers shouldn’t even have a connection to the internet.

Should you go to jail for losing sensitive information of this type? YES! And the company you work for should be held financially libel for all actual losses and emotional pain and suffering caused to your victims.

If you want to take the initiative to gather and organize all of this sensitive information you inherit the responsibility for its safety and pay the price for your failure.
  by: valkyrie123     05/23/2006 07:02 PM     
I just heard on the radio that the database also contains the names, birth dates, and SS numbers of the soldiers spouses and children and the number of people whose info was compromised may be as high as 50 million. This just gets uglier by the minute.
  by: valkyrie123     05/23/2006 07:13 PM     
Personal data on 50 million people? Even if each person's record contained 1k of data, that's 50 gigs. Why wouldn't a database like this stay on a secure server ? And if you needed access to someone's record, connect securely. Or am I missing something?
  by: ezanto   05/23/2006 08:57 PM     
very very true. someone prolly had an update sheet that contained info for like 30 people, and thats prolly what they are talking about.
  by: trankpill   05/23/2006 09:23 PM     
  @Anyone that takes NPI (Non public information) Ho  
There are software programs out there that will encrypt the hard drive. I'm not trying to play favorites, but we use Pointsec at work. Basicly if you can break into it with Pointsec on it, you'll be making enough to not have to worry about money. Here is a link to them, the company I work for uses it to protect data on ALL of our computer.
  by: thegreatgonzo     05/23/2006 10:39 PM     
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