Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


80% of Active Duty Military, 2.2 million SSNs

Social Security numbers and other personal information for as many as 2.2 million U.S. military personnel — including nearly 80 percent of the active-duty force — were among the data stolen from the home of a Department of Veterans Affairs analyst last month, federal officials said yesterday, raising concerns about national security as well as identity theft.

From the Washington Post, “Data theft hit 80 percent of active military,” via Bob Sullivan, “Lost VA Data: Who’s on The List,” which includes useful what-happened bits:

Thanks to NBC’s Pete Williams, we can offer a few more details about why the VA has been so vague. The data apparently was taken home by an employee on either DVDs or CDs. Some of those CDs or DVDs were copied to the employees computer, but no one knows how many. In the best case scenario, only some of the data was copied before the computer was stolen.

Active duty personnel should be aware that there’s an “active duty” alert they can put on their credit reports. For details, see “‘Active Duty’ Alerts Help Protect Military Personnel from Identity Theft” (Federal Trade Commission).