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VA Stolen Data:out Of The Frying Pan Into The Fire  
User currently offlineTedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 1751 times:

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20060607/D8I32RVO1.html

Quote:

WASHINGTON (AP) - Personal data on about 2.2 million active-duty military, Guard and Reserve personnel - not just 50,000 as initially believed - were among those stolen from a Veterans Affairs employee last month, the government said Tuesday.

I guess I'm going to get ANC's social off e-bay and have myself a grand old time Big grin

Seriously... as someone who used to do data managment, this is beyond offensive. I am now convinced this government is a joke!!

17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 1742 times:

And now; the rest of the story . . . from our illustrious VA . . . .

You know the VA - the guys and gals taht are supposed to SUPPORT retirees and veterans for the remainder of their days . . . who in reality simply suck.

There have been several e-mail messages from several folks in the upper echelons of the VA recently about steps we are to take in case something amiss hits our credit reports, our mail boxes, our credit card statements, etc.

I have already done them. Although the VA recommends waiting until such time as the veteran receives a letter from them informing the vet that his/her data has been compromised before taking additional steps - I don't trust the bastards.

The first thing I did was launch a fraud alert to all three major US Credit Reporting Agencies . . . this alert is good for 90 days and can be renewed. Basically, it says any attempt to gain access to my credit report will be stonewalled until such time as I'm notified and can verify the need. While that may hamper an attempt to obtain credit I have no need to do that at the moment.

I have also written a letter to all my creditors, be they credit card companies or the mortgage company with similar information.

Now, I don't know about the other vets/retirees out there, but I'm sorely pissed about this. And the moron that took the records home still has a job.

Oh, his boss, out of a gesture of good will, resigned  sarcastic  but will be back on the gov't payroll somewhere I'm sure fairly soon.

My position: The asshole that took the records home to "work on them" took them home for no other reason but to sell them. Period.

He needs to be jailed. He has violated so many laws it's pathetic. Let me, I can start with 2.2 million counts of violating the Privacy Act of 1974 . . . .***

I've always been smart about my credit and credit cards and shredding things and not giving out addresses and phone numbers - etc. Hell, even my Department only has my cell phone and a PO Box . . . and in one fell swoop some government bureauacrat has shit the bed on the whole deal.

Inexcuseable.

Just another flogging of American Veterans.

Ted, if I see any credit inquiries from Florida, you're gonna get a visit "from my little friend".  wink 









*** How long until someone says "Well, the Patriot Act is violating your rights" and then I'll have to respond with the  redflag  . . .


User currently offlineMattRB From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 1624 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 1728 times:

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 1):
My position: The asshole that took the records home to "work on them" took them home for no other reason but to sell them. Period.

He needs to be jailed. He has violated so many laws it's pathetic. Let me, I can start with 2.2 million counts of violating the Privacy Act of 1974 . . . .***

Agreed.

That kind of data has absolutely no business whatsoever leaving the building, let alone being on a laptop.



Aviation is proof that given, the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.
User currently offlineKROC From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 1723 times:

Well, the Patriot Act is violating your rights, so what do you expect?  Wink

User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13148 posts, RR: 15
Reply 4, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 1712 times:

This situation is also being seen as a horrible breach of National Security. As this data disk included info on active service members in Iraq, Afganistan and South Korea. If terrorists groups or enemy governments that got this data, (probably at a cheap price, including Russia and China) they could use the info to attack them or their families. Such attacks could be physical as to key officers, do acts of identity theft such as take out credit or credit cards in their names or steal money from their bank accounts. They can also learn of some troop movement info to prepare attacks. This is a big deal.
Current and past service members also face idenity theft by foreign or domestic criminals which would cause a huge and critical loss of moral and as these service members would have to take time from their duty to clean up their ID theft issues if that occurs or put holds on their credit reports which can lead to slower access to legitment seekers of info (banks, current and potential new credit granters as noted in a previous post). That could cripple our current military from their critical duties.
Currently the local government where the computer was stolen has posted a $50,000 reward for the return of it and the disk. Hopefully, the a-hole that violated the rules with taking this disk home will face a long jail term for his stupidity and violations of the law. To me he is a tratior to our country for putting our military and citizens at risk. It also makes it manditory to recognize the expanding risks of making data available in more compact formats to take appropiate protections, maybe making such data not to be available in certain ways and huge penalties for violations.


User currently offlinePope From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 1696 times:

I cannot believe that Congress hasn't mandated the use of encryption software for all personal data stored on computers. You can by military grade and near military grade encryption software for less than $50/license and avoid 99.99999% of these problems.

User currently offlineTedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 1672 times:

Quoting Pope (Reply 5):
You can by military grade and near military grade encryption software for less than $50/license and avoid 99.99999% of these problems.

Yeah, but.. how many people are carrying US government laptops?
I think a conservative guess is 10,000 Multiply that times $50, and that's a 1/2 million dollar expendature that someone has to sign for. Now given the way this administration has almost literally burned money, that's not a big deal, but it's still 1/2 million dollars that could be cut in 1/3 with VPN and keeping the data at a 'secure' facility in the first place.

The fact ANY 'sensitive' data is leaving ANY facility (public and private entities) is shocking. These IT directors need to be terminated immediately.


User currently offlineHalls120 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 1665 times:

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 1):
Now, I don't know about the other vets/retirees out there, but I'm sorely pissed about this. And the moron that took the records home still has a job.

Actually, I believe he has been terminated/allowed to retire, according to the Washington Post.

What is interesting is that his name has yet to be released. The Post says that this omission is at the request of law enforcement investigating the loss. I suspect it is so the SOB isn't hung, drawn, and quartered.....


User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 1664 times:

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 7):
The Post says that this omission is at the request of law enforcement investigating the loss. I suspect it is so the SOB isn't hung, drawn, and quartered.....

 checkmark  That would be my bet.

Now my question is: Did he really LOSE this data, or did he sell it someone?


User currently offlinePope From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1640 times:

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 6):
Yeah, but.. how many people are carrying US government laptops?
I think a conservative guess is 10,000 Multiply that times $50, and that's a 1/2 million dollar expendature that someone has to sign for. Now given the way this administration has almost literally burned money, that's not a big deal, but it's still 1/2 million dollars that could be cut in 1/3 with VPN and keeping the data at a 'secure' facility in the first place.

The fact ANY 'sensitive' data is leaving ANY facility (public and private entities) is shocking. These IT directors need to be terminated immediately.

At $500,000 the expenditure is a drop in the bucket compared to the potential damage the release of data could cause.

But I wouldn't limit this to just government laptops. I think all sorts of industries (healthcare, credit card, education) all should be required to encrypt any file containing personal identification information which includes social security numbers.


User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1638 times:

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 6):
Yeah, but.. how many people are carrying US government laptops?
I think a conservative guess is 10,000 Multiply that times $50

Well, conservative it is, because in my last assignment in DC there were 147 of us assigned to that Directorate. All but a dozen had government issued Toshiba laptops. Now, considering there are some 30,000 people in the five sided funny farm alone - not to mention the Navy Annex, VA, blah, blah, blah. I thnik you under cut the number by about 20,000.

That said, I still consider the expenditure worth the $$$.

Article on CNN this morning, the VFW has sued, and is seeking damages of $1000 per person that had data stolen. That too is a drop in the proverbial bucket - but, it will make for nice beer $$$. Won't teach anyone a lesson, but I'll sign on as a part of the Class Action suit.

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

There is simply NO excuse at all.

I urge every veteran out here to write their Congressperson and Senator - as I have already done - expressing the appropriate outrage. Let these legislators have some hearings on something that REALLY matters instead of debating the virtues of a ban on same sex marriages and the colors in the shitters in the Hart Senate Office Building!


User currently offlineHalls120 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1624 times:

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 10):
Well, conservative it is, because in my last assignment in DC there were 147 of us assigned to that Directorate. All but a dozen had government issued Toshiba laptops. Now, considering there are some 30,000 people in the five sided funny farm alone - not to mention the Navy Annex, VA, blah, blah, blah. I thnik you under cut the number by about 20,000.

In my DOJ section of about 40 attorneys, at least 20 of us have laptops. Given that there are about 3700 DOJ attorneys in the greater DC area, that's at least 1800 more, assuming our section is representative.


User currently offlineTedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 1611 times:

Quoting Pope (Reply 9):



Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 10):

You guys missed my point... which was don't STORE the data on the laptops/moveable media in the first place.


User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1605 times:

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 12):
You guys missed my point... which was don't STORE the data on the laptops/moveable media in the first place.

Impossible.

This isn't 1970 TedT . . . the Laptops are integral to the mission - hell man, where have you been - they have them on the front line - you don't think those cannon cockers REALLY use a slide rule to find out where the artillery is going to land do you???

Yes, the DoD has also moved into the age of instant info and gotta have it now syndrome.


User currently offlineBushpilot From South Africa, joined Jul 2007, 0 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 1601 times:

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 1):
My position: The asshole that took the records home to "work on them" took them home for no other reason but to sell them. Period.

This was the first thing I thought of when I first heard about it. I can see it happening, brings laptop home, at the request of say a foreign intelligence service, it is planned out that dude X breaks into said house, grabs the laptop and is gone. I dont think one person could fully exploit the records of 2.2million people, plus with all the publicity surrounding it. But I can see how some foreign governments would be highly interested in this. I dunno maybe I have read to many spy novels.
But I think the guy involved needs to spend some time in the cage, with the sentance that he has to hand write each compromised vet an apology letter and a thank you for your service note as well. When all said 4.4million pages are written, he is free to go, he would be eligible for federal government employment only in the TSA.


User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 1593 times:

Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 14):
But I can see how some foreign governments would be highly interested in this. I dunno maybe I have read to many spy novels.

Not too far off in some scenarios . . .

Quickest way to demoralize your military forces - threaten their families.

With this info, whomever has access to name, address, phone, ssn, on and on and on . . .

It probably would not be a good idea for the VA to release the assholes name. I know of three people that have received the "magic letter" from the VA thus far - one is a A-netter . . .

I have NOT gotten such a letter.

Yet.


User currently offlineTedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 1586 times:

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 13):
you don't think those cannon cockers REALLY use a slide rule to find out where the artillery is going to land do you???

Yeah, but the cannon cockers don't have your SSN either now do they?

I'l conceeded there is data that needs to be in the field if you conceede that every piece of data that is NOT explicitly required for ops should be left at the Pentagon.


User currently offlineHalls120 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 1574 times:

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 13):
Quoting TedTAce (Reply 12):
You guys missed my point... which was don't STORE the data on the laptops/moveable media in the first place.

Impossible.

This isn't 1970 TedT . . . the Laptops are integral to the mission - hell man, where have you been - they have them on the front line - you don't think those cannon cockers REALLY use a slide rule to find out where the artillery is going to land do you???

Yes, the DoD has also moved into the age of instant info and gotta have it now syndrome.

I should have mentioned that all DOJ laptops have very good encrypted security. You don't have the password, you don't get in. It's so good that when the security software fails, as mine did recently, the IT shop has to re-image the hard drive, eraasing everything on it, of course.


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