Shostack + Friends Blog Archive



peek-a-boo.jpg8.9% of Americans are at increased risk for ID theft due to that fellow at the veterans administration. Wow. Sure, the 13% at risk for account take-over from Cardsystems was bad, but that was just credit cards. This is about the databases that control our lives. This is horrendous. Maybe we’ll get some better laws about credit freezes out of it. [Update: That sentence doesn’t quite read as I intended it, which was half optimistic, and half giving-up in disgust. That’s what you get sometimes with blogs.]

[VA Secretary] Nicholson initially told the committee that the stolen information “did not include any of the VA’s electronic health records,” but after further questioning by Rep. Bob Filner (D-California), the Bush cabinet secretary admitted the data did include codes representing veterans’ specific physical ailments, Reuters reports. (From “VA Data Theft Could Cost Taxpayers $500M” in CSO Online.)

(The Census Bureau says there are 298,817,315 Americans today. 26500000/298817158 = .08868. Photo by daxsauerwein. )

3 comments on "8.9%"

  • Robert Lemos says:

    The number is a bit higher–12 percent of adults–if you look only at the population that truly could be at risk.

  • Adam says:

    Not sure I follow. Kids are at risk for ID theft, too, and it feels off to measure “of those who might be veterans.” That could include foreigners serving in the US military.

  • David Brodbeck says:

    I wonder, if this keeps up, if we’ll get there another way — if the Social Security Number will become so clearly useless as a form of authentication that a new system will emerge. I believe a lot of the trouble comes from the SSN’s dual role — various entities are using it both as identification and as authentication. If they stopped using it as a way to prove you’re you, the need to keep it secret would vanish.

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