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  1. #1
    Senior Member genXer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005

    Exclamation Data on 26 million veterans stolen from home

    Smashing baby, just smashing:

    From McNews: http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/05/22/vets.data/index.html

    Burglary appears to be random, says Veterans Affairs secretary

    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Personal information on 26.5 million veterans was stolen from the home of a data analyst in what appears to have been a random burglary, Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson said Monday.

    The computer records include names, Social Security numbers and dates of birth, Nicholson said. The Department of Veterans Affairs disclosed the theft Monday and said it has seen no indication that the information has been misused.

    The missing data does not include health records or financial information, the department said. It does include some disability ratings and data on some veterans' spouses.

    The VA would not identify the employee who was robbed or the location of his home, and would say only that the burglary happened this month.

    Nicholson disclosed few details about the theft, citing an investigation by his department's inspector general and the FBI. But he said, "We think that it wasn't a targeted burglary."

    "They weren't after this [data]," he told CNN. "There's a pattern of these kind of burglaries in this neighborhood."

    The analyst took the data home without authorization, Nicholson said. Department spokesman Matt Burns said the employee has been put on administrative leave while the investigation is conducted.

    Nicholson said the theft is "disturbing," but that there is no immediate reason for veterans to believe "anything unsavory is going on."

    The VA sent a letter to veterans informing them of the stolen data. Anyone with questions can contact the agency at 1-800-333-4636 or through the federal government's Web portal, www.firstgov.gov.

    The department said Nicholson has briefed Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Deborah Platt Majoras, the chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission. Gonzales and Majoras lead the Bush administration's identity theft task force.

    Sen. Larry Craig, chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee, said Monday that all veterans should be "vigilant" in monitoring their own financial information for suspicious activity.

    "I've got to ask -- and certainly I have to ask it of not only the VA but all of government -- why can a data analyst take all of this information home?" the Idaho Republican told CNN. "That's a breach of security -- in today's concern about ID theft -- that is huge.

    "Of course, I think it awakened the secretary to the vulnerability within his own organization, and that's true, I would guess, across government," he said.

    Craig said authorities were still not certain whether the burglary was targeted or random.

    "This is something now that really deserves our overview and a review by all of government as it relates to this kind of information and how it is being handled," he said.
    If yer a US vet, here is a site you may need - BTW this incident took place some time "this month"... so sometime either today or even at the 1st of the month - wheee!:

    Federal Government's Web Portal - with the updated section on what has happened: http://www.firstgov.gov/veteransinfo.shtml

    Annnd what to take action on if you feel you need to after reading the article:
    Where should I report suspicious or unusual activity?

    The Federal Trade Commission recommends the following four steps if you detect suspicious activity:

    Step 1 Contact the fraud department of one of the three major credit bureaus:

    Equifax: 1-800-525-6285; www.equifax.com; P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
    Experian: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742); www.experian.com; P.O. Box 9532, Allen, Texas 75013
    TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289; www.transunion.com; Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
    Step 2 Close any accounts that have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.

    Step 3 File a police report with your local police or the police in the community where the identity theft took place.

    Step 4 File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission by using the FTC's Identity Theft Hotline by telephone: 1-877-438-4338, online at www.consumer.gov/idtheft, or by mail at Identity Theft *************, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC 20580.
    Now, it seems that the incident is being played down, for what reason, I am not sure - but this is definitely a HUGE issue, not just the information being out in the wild, but the analyst having the information at home as well - process broken mayhap?
    \"We\'re the middle children of history.... no purpose or place. We have no Great War, no Great Depression. Our great war is a spiritual war. Our great depression is our lives. We\'ve all been raised by television to believe that one day we\'ll all be millionaires and movie gods and rock stars -- but we won\'t. And we\'re learning slowly that fact. And we\'re very, very pissed off.\" - Tyler (Brad Pitt) Fight Club.

  2. #2
    Senior Member RoadClosed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    but the analyst having the information at home as well - process broken mayhap?
    There is NO way I would take a large customer base home. That is irresponsible, and possibly criminal.
    West of House
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    There is a small mailbox here.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Pacific Northwest
    Oh that's just wonderful! 26.5 Million SSN's and other personal information in the wrong hands or unaccounted for. Just another prime example of complete delection and irresponsibility.

    Just great, the odds of my name being amongst that 26.5 million is very high, so now I get the pleasure of continually checking all my accounts and records for fraud. And what about the disabled Veterans and the like?

    I remember those 26 pages in triplicate, that we had to press firmly on, while using a Skillcraft Blue-Black Ball Point Pen, that we paid $4.00 for because it was a government contract, that if you made a mistake you had to start all over again because they would not allow lineouts or erasing, and that was returned for complete resubmission because you used the 5/22/06 date format instead of 22 May 2006.

    When will it end? When will we the people start holding not only this person, but the whole darn government accountable for the condition of this country?

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  4. #4
    Senior Member RoadClosed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    so now I get the pleasure of continually checking all my accounts and records for fraud.
    Fact is we don't know who has our information. Credit Card companies, the bureaus (TRW, Experian, etc), the cable company, TV company, Best Buy, Amazon.com, Satellite companies, local grocery store and a thousand others all have our info. share it, outsource data storage, outsource data development etc so I would CHECK it anyway.
    West of House
    You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door.
    There is a small mailbox here.

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