Wednesday, August 09, 2006

DailyTech - One More Missing Computer with Military Vet Data

DailyTech - One More Missing Computer with Military Vet Data
August 8, 2006 1:49 PM

The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced that another laptop containing the personal data of up to 38,000 veterans has been stolen. Although the department was made aware of the problem on August 3, the theft was publicly announced yesterday. The desktop computer was stolen from Unisys, a subcontractor for the Department of Veterans Affairs that handles insurance collection at VA hospitals in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. VA patients' names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, addresses, insurance carrier and billing information, and dates of military service could be at risk, according to the VA. An investigation is now being conducted by the VA's inspector general, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and local police authorities.

This isn't the first time that veterans' personal data has been compromised due to theft. At least two people have been charged in the theft of a laptop computer and external hard drive from the home of a Department of Veterans Affairs employee in late May. The laptop contained the personal information of 26.5 million veterans. Christian Brian Montano, 19, has been charged with first degree burglary, theft over $500, conspiracy to commit burglary and theft. His alleged partner in crime, Jesus Alex Pineda, 19, faces first degree burglary and theft over $500 charges. Charges are pending on another suspect who is a minor.

With several lawmakers already putting pressure on the management style of the VA, more pressure is going to be placed upon Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson. In fact, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada has called on Nicholson to resign after reports of the latest theft surfaced yesterday.

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