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.