View Full Version : Identity theft...multiplied by two million

the Talking Can
06-07-2006, 02:06 PM
How the **** does someone go home with personal data of two million veterans on THEIR LAPTOP??

2.2 million active-duty personnel in VA data theft

Wednesday, June 7, 2006; Posted: 11:31 a.m. EDT (15:31 GMT)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Nearly all active-duty military, Guard and Reserve members -- about 2.2 million total -- may be at risk for identity theft because their personal information was among the data stolen from a Veterans Affairs employee last month.

In a new disclosure Tuesday, VA Secretary Jim Nicholson said the agency was mistaken when it said over the weekend that up to 50,000 Navy and National Guard personnel were among the 26.5 million veterans whose names, birthdates and Social Security numbers were stolen on May 3.

The number is actually much higher.

The VA realized it had records on file for almost all active-duty personnel because they are eligible to receive VA benefits such as GI Bill educational assistance and the home loan guarantee program.

In a statement, Nicholson said the VA's latest review found the data included as many as 1.1 million active-duty personnel from all the armed forces, along with 430,000 members of the National Guard, and 645,000 members of the Reserves.

He noted that the agency has been notifying all affected veterans and that there have been no reports of identity theft in what has become one of the nation's largest security breaches.

"VA remains committed to providing updates on this incident as new information is learned," Nicholson said, explaining that it discovered the larger numbers after the VA and Pentagon compared their electronic files more closely.

Veterans groups expressed outrage over the announcement, the latest in a series of revelations by the government since it revealed the burglary on May 22.

"Our Armed Forces personnel have enough on their plates with fighting the global war on terror let alone having to worry about theft identity while deployed overseas," said Ramona Joyce, spokeswoman for the American Legion.
'Confirms the VFW's worst fear'

Joe Davis, a spokesman for Veterans of Foreign Wars, said the VA must come clean after three weeks of "this debacle."

"This confirms the VFW's worst fear from day one -- that the loss of data encompasses every single person who did wear the uniform and does wear the uniform today," Davis said.

A lawsuit filed by five veterans groups on Tuesday demanded that the VA fully disclose which military personnel are affected by the data theft and seeks $1,000 in damages for each person. The veterans are also seeking a court order barring VA employees from using sensitive data until independent experts determine proper safeguards.

"VA arrogantly compounded its disregard for veterans' privacy rights by recklessly failing to make even the most rudimentary effort to safeguard this trove of the personally identifiable information from unauthorized disclosure," the complaint says.

In response to the lawsuit, the VA said it is in discussions with credit-monitoring services to determine "how veterans and others potentially affected can best be served" in the aftermath of the theft, said spokesman Matt Burns.
Reward offered for laptop, external drive

Maryland authorities, meanwhile, announced they were offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the return of the laptop or media drive taken during the May 3 burglary at a VA data analyst's home in Aspen Hill, Maryland.

They asked anyone who purchased a used Hewlett Packard Laptop model .zv5360us or HP external personal media drive after May 3 to call Montgomery County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477). Anyone with the stolen equipment can turn it in anonymously and become eligible for the $50,000 reward, police said.

Veterans groups have criticized the VA for a three-week delay in publicizing the burglary. The VA initially disclosed the burglary May 22, saying it involved the names, birth dates and Social Security numbers -- and in some cases, disability codes -- of veterans discharged since 1975.

Since then, it has also acknowledged that phone numbers and addresses of many of those veterans also may have been included.

cnn (http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/06/07/vets.data.ap/index.html)

06-07-2006, 02:11 PM
Nice.... I'll be keeping up with the credit bureau now.


06-07-2006, 02:18 PM
That's a small database table actually easy to fit on PC drive. Not limited by Excel 65K # of records

06-07-2006, 03:07 PM
That's twice a dickhole former employer has lost my data.. first A Ho L Time Warner and now uncle sammy. At least A Ho L gave me a free 2 year sub to a "gold" credit monitoring service.


06-07-2006, 03:24 PM
Who cares

06-07-2006, 03:27 PM
Who cares

If it was your identity you might...care.

06-07-2006, 03:27 PM
Uh...the veterans who had enough personal data on that laptop, to have their identity stolen and credit ruined....thats who.

06-07-2006, 03:29 PM
boy thats just terrible...

06-07-2006, 04:43 PM
How the **** does someone go home with personal data of two million veterans on THEIR LAPTOP??

IMO - Not on accident. :cuss:

Mark M
06-07-2006, 08:36 PM
First of all, it wasn't 2 million vets -- it was more than 23 MILLION vets and 2 million ACTIVE DUTY service members (including Nat'l Guard and Reserves).

There are three scenarios to this whole thing:

1. The thieves just wanted a nice, shiny laptop and external hard drive to sell for cash, or to use to download porn. Whatever the case, there’s a good chance they didn’t even know what the hell was on the thing – unless they are or know a hacker, or know someone who would recover the info, then it may be alright since most operating systems are password protected. Of course, considering some dumb**** thought it was a good idea to take home the records of nearly 30 million service members, his password may have been “123456.”

By now, the thieves have probably realized that they are in deep, deep shit and threw the thing in deep, deep water.

2. The thieves realized it, got the info, and are selling the info piecemeal to all sorts of folks. This will lead to a hit-and-miss type of problem, where some dumbass goes and buys a freaking Bentley under the name of some Corporal. It will be scattered, and last for a few years.

3. The thieves knew exactly what they were doing. This is where it could get ugly … to make the most of the information, it would take someone offshore, with the cash worthy of such a treasure trove of info. These people are patient, and aren’t just going to run down to the Best Buy and pick up a plasma TV and new Xbox 360. They’ll wait for years – even a decade or more – before doing a damn thing. And even then, it’s not going to be your typical “ID Theft” issue – they’ll use the info to start a business, open a bank account, or something else as a front to an illegal business. Some people will have all kinds of crazy shit suddenly show up on their credit reports, and it will be big, quick, and untraceable.

The fact is, if these people knew what they were doing when they took the info, the fact the VA waited nearly three weeks to make it public only compounded the problem—if they had made it known within a few days, the info would’ve been too hot. It’d have been like trying to take a stolen cop car to a chop shot – the risk just wouldn’t have been worth the reward.

But as it stands now, more than 26 million people who have served this country will have to spend the rest of their lives watching their credit reports more closely than Paris Hilton watches a line of coke.

Of course, every service member can put a fraud alert on his or her account. That will flag pretty much anything over a certain amount and/or a flurry of activity.

The best solution, however, is for the government to cancel each and every Social Security number that was lost, and give out new ones. It’s pretty much the only way to truly solve the problem without putting the burden on those who have already done so much for our country.