Latest VA Data Breach Worse Than Initially Reported

from the much-worse dept

After the Veterans Administration's big data loss last year, the agency made a big point about how it was going to clean up its act and start encrypting all sensitive data. That claim was pretty well busted a few weeks ago, after the administration announced that it had lost a hard drive containing info on 48,000 vets, much of it unencrypted. It turns out that the agency's initial statement on how much data was lost was a little on the low side... by a factor of 10, actually. Apparently, the hard drive had sensitive data on 535,000 people, as well as non-sensitive data on another 1.3 million non-VA physicians, alive and dead. Some are wondering whether the VA deliberately low-balled the initial number in hopes of downplaying the severity of the loss. While this is a possibility, it seems equally likely that the VA just doesn't have a good handle on things, and that it honestly didn't know what was on the hard drive. Or maybe the VA felt the need to boost the number since it was worried that it was losing its title as the worst handler of data to the FBI.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  • identicon
    ALLurGroceries, 14 Feb 2007 @ 3:07pm

    Minor correction..

    From the original news source (The Birmingham News): "The hard drive also may have included data, not all of it sensitive, on about 1.3 million non-VA physicians, both living and dead, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson said in a statement."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    A Vet's Son, 14 Feb 2007 @ 4:59pm

    What a shock... Well, I wish it was even a supris

    This is so typical in so many ways. The VA screws over the people that fought and bled for our nation, as usual. A government agency either doesn't have its act together or tries to minimize the damage, as usual.

    None of these scenarios is acceptable.

    Call your congressmen, people. Irritate them until they have no choice but to treat our men and women in uniform with dignity and respect, if only just to get you off their ass. Hell, irritate them until they get their heads and puppeteers out of their asses and try to do what is right, for once. Remember, the ONLY benefit of a democracy is that you can annoy the hell out of the elected representatives.

    Even if you disagree with what is going on worldwide, these people fight and die to protect YOU and YOURS, and they damn well deserve to be taken care of.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    _Jon, 15 Feb 2007 @ 4:46am

    Why the heck does a *laptop* have 500,000+ ID's on it anyway? What the *heck* could a person do with that much info on a *laptop*?
    You can't query it and get a response back in any decent amount of time....
    You can't print it....

    There's no reason to have *any* personal information on a laptop - it should all be on a secure server and connected to remotely.

    Jeeze, these people are *stupid*!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Feb 2011 @ 1:38pm

    The VA

    The amount of time it's taking them to process my VA Claim, hell I thought they were still using a stone tablet to record and disseminate data. The VA is one screwed up organization and someone should do something about.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer
Anonymous number for texting and calling from Hushed. $25 lifetime membership, use code TECHDIRT25
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.