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Millions Of Veterans' ID Data Stolen

Discussion in 'Veteran's Forum' started by TexasDoc, May 22, 2006.

  1. Here is from the local news channel about this. I am posting this as I am one of the 26.5 Mil. that is in there.

    My advice is to call the Credit folks and place a Hold on your SS# and ask to be notified of any activitive on your Number.


    CBS News) WASHINGTON Personal data, including Social Security numbers of 26.5 million U.S. veterans, was stolen from a Veterans Affairs employee this month after he took the information home without authorization, the department said Monday.

    Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson said there was no evidence so far that the burglars who struck the employee's home have used the personal data — or even know they have it. The employee, a data analyst whom Nicholson would not identify, has been placed on leave pending a review.

    "He wasn't authorized to do that. In fact, that behavior was a violation of our policies," Deputy Secretary Gordon Mansfield told CBS Radio News.

    "We have a full-scale investigation," said Nicholson, who said the FBI, local law enforcement and the VA inspector general were investigating. "I want to emphasize, there was no medical records of any veteran and no financial information of any veteran that's been compromised."

    "We have decided that we must exercise an abundance of caution and make sure our veterans are aware of this incident," he said in a conference call with reporters.

    The theft of veterans' names, Social Security numbers and dates of birth comes as the department has come under criticism for shoddy accounting practices and for falling short on the needs of veterans.

    Last year, more than 260,000 veterans could not sign up for services because of cost-cutting. Audits also have shown the agency used misleading accounting methods and lacked documentation to prove its claimed savings.

    Veterans advocates immediately expressed alarm.

    "This was a very serious breach of security for American veterans and their families," said Bob Wallace, executive director of Veterans for Foreign Wars. "We want the VA to show leadership, management and accountability for this breach."

    Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who is a Vietnam veteran, decried the breach and said he would introduce legislation to require the VA to provide credit reports to the veterans affected by the theft.

    "This is no way to treat those who have worn the uniform of our country," Kerry said in a statement "Someone needs to be fired, the perpetrators need to be caught and the security system at the VA needs to be massively overhauled."

    A letter (.pdf) is being sent to those veterans affected.

    On Monday, the VA said it was notifying members of Congress and the individual veterans about the burglary. It also set up a call center at 1-800-FED-INFO and Web site,, if veterans believe their information has been misused.

    It also is stepping up its review of procedures for the use of personal data for many of its employees who telecommute as well as others who must sign disclosure forms showing they are aware of federal privacy laws and the consequences if they're violated.

    Nicholson declined to comment on the specifics of the incident, which involved a mid-level career employee who had taken the information home to suburban Maryland — on disks, according to congressional sources who were briefed on the incident — to work on a department project.

    The residential community had been a target of a series of burglaries and the employee was victimized earlier this month, according to the FBI in Baltimore, which was investigating the incident.

    The material represents personal data of all living veterans who served and have been discharged since 1976, according to the department. The information was included in the veterans' discharge summary that goes into a government database.

    (© 2006 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
  2. The Pontificator

    The Pontificator Angry Samoan

    Sep 18, 2000
    No, he needs to be taken out into an alley and beaten to within an inch of his life.

    Kerry and I actually agree on something.

    The reality is, no one's gonna get fired and this too, shall be swept quietly under the rug.

  3. frefoo


    Apr 4, 2004
    Northen VA

    I would hold off contacting the "Credit folks..." for the time being.

    It is my understanding that an identify theft "mark" on your credit report is a negative mark.

    I am also one among the 26.5 Mil.

    I am going to keep an eye on my credit report/accounts, but not take any direct action unless I get "the letter" from the VA, or see issues with banking/credit card/credit report.

  4. DriBak

    DriBak GUNS UP Millennium Member

    Jul 4, 1999
    West Texas
    How do I find out if my info has been compromised?
  5. I was discharged in 72 and my terminal date of reserve obligation was Jan 75 so I think I'm clean.

    It was cool checking out my DD-214

    I suppose time will tell if we are affected in any way.

    Did anyone say if this info was backed up in any way?

  6. Veterans ID Protection Act

    Rep. John Salazar (Colo.) has introduced Veterans Identity Protection Act of 2006 (H.R. 5455). This measure will require the VA to provide one year of free credit monitoring and a free annual credit report for the next two years to veterans who are affected by this security breach. The measure also seeks to authorize $1.25 billion to implement the program for the first year.

  7. The dude had an unauthorized copy of the database, the IDIOT!

    There should have been alarms bells going off all over the place before he got the first 12 names onto his PC's hard drive at work!

    That stuff needed to be accessed via a server connection and not locally stored on a PC period! A simple front end access application to prevent copying like he did would have fixed the leak. He must have had high level access to the raw data.

    :soap: :soap: :soap: :freak: :freak:

    Notify your elected officials about your thought on this issue.
    link to page with a page to send your message:

    Veterans Identity Protection Act of 2006
    Rep. John Salazar (Colo.) has introduced Veterans Identity Protection Act of 2006 (H.R. 5455).

    Scroll down to send a letter to your public officials. Let your voice be heard!

    Rep. John Salazar (Colo.) has introduced Veterans Identity Protection Act of 2006 (H.R. 5455). This measure will require the VA to provide one year of free credit monitoring and a free annual credit report for the next two years to veterans who are affected by this security breach. The measure also seeks to authorize $1.25 billion to implement the program for the first year.

    How do you feel about this action? Let your public officials know how you feel!

    Do you know someone this effects? Email this page to friends
  8. frefoo


    Apr 4, 2004
    Northen VA
    Personally speaking 1 year of free credit monitoring and 1 free credit report is lame at the cost of 1.25 billion in tax payers money.

    1. It does nothing to resolve the current issue.
    2. It does nothing to make sure it won’t happen again.
    3. The current laws handle most of this from a quick google search.


    I know nothing about the company in the link below. (

    However from the Identity theft bill of rights page they post

    Identity theft bill of rights

    [End disclaimer]

    Not much "protection" is included in Rep Salazar's measure.


    Veteran who had SSN data stolen by the VA.
  9. WIG19

    WIG19 Light left on

    Oct 27, 2003
    Renegade State
    Caveat: Some of this is conjecture. ;)

    An analyst working at home with a laptop actually takes home the entire working database (since '75-76 anyway) for work.
    I believe OJ's really still trying to find the true killers too...

    Frankly (here's the conjecture part) the 'theft' of the laptop sounds like cover for a deal. Someone is hopefully monitoring the person's financials to see what might be coming in. Forget health records; that's simply a huge chunk of Privacy Act data and would fetch a pretty penny I'd imagine.

    These days many government agencies have as part of their practices the certification & liability of individual analysts or administrators (depending upon their level of responsibility) and courts have held that they can be held personally & financially liable for either their mistakes or their malpractice/abuse of system privilege. "...placed on admin leave pending outcome of an investigation" is one thing - but sooner rather than later someone is going to release this person's name and they're going to find themselves individually liable & named in a lawsuit, likely one of many.

    "The VA will send out individual notification letters to veterans to every extent possible." I'd be interested to hear when someone receives one of these.

  10. frefoo


    Apr 4, 2004
    Northen VA
    I got one
  11. Bill D

    Bill D Millennium Member

    Aug 31, 1999
    Acworth, Ga.
    I heard today they found the computer and the info is intact.