TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Another Vets Admin Desktop PC Goes Missing With 36,000 Names

Another Vets Admin Desktop PC Goes Missing With 36,000 Names

PC World Communications Newswire (
Tue, 08 Aug 2006 19:34:44 -0500

WASHINGTON-- A desktop PC containing the personal information of up to
36,000 U.S. military veterans has gone missing from U.S. Department of
Veterans Affairs (VA) subcontractor Unisys, the VA announced

The PC may have contained VA patients' names, addresses, Social
Security Numbers, dates of birth, insurance carriers and billing
information, dates of military service, and claims data that may
include some medical information, the VA said. Unisys notified the VA
on Thursday that the computer was missing from the subcontractor's
Reston, Virginia, offices.

The VA immediately dispatched a team to Unisys to assist in the search
for computer and to help determine what information it held, the VA
said in a press release.

Similar Situation

The announcement comes after the VA said in late May that a laptop and
hard drive containing the personal data of 26.5 million veterans and
their spouses was stolen from a VA analysts' home. Police recovered
the laptop and hard drive in late June, but the theft set off a series
of hearings in the U.S. Congress about the VA's management and IT
organization, with several lawmakers calling for an overhaul of the
VA's decentralized IT reporting structure.

On Saturday, Montgomery County, Maryland, police announced they had
arrested two Maryland men for the theft of the laptop and hard drive.

In the Unisys case, the VA believes the missing personal records
belong to people who received treatment at the VA's two Pennsylvania
medical centers during the past four years. The PC appears to have
contained personal information for about 5000 patients treated at
Philadelphia, about 11,000 patients treated at Pittsburgh, and it may
have also contained information from another 20,000 people treated at
the VA's Pittsburgh medical center. The PC appears to have also
contained information on about 2000 deceased patients, the VA said.

The VA is working with Unisys to offer credit monitoring and
individual notifications to potential victims, the VA said.

"VA is making progress to reform its information technology and
cybersecurity procedures, but this report of a missing computer at a
subcontractor's secure building underscores the complexity of the work
ahead as we establish VA as a leader in data and information
security," VA Secretary R. James Nicholson said in a statement.

Copyright 2006 PC World Communications, Inc.

For more tech news each day, please go to:

Post Followup Article Use your browser's quoting feature to quote article into reply
Go to Next message: Jay Worlstad: "New Google Warnings Help Protect Internet Users"
Go to Previous message: Associated Press News Wire: "Microsft Releases a Dozen New Fixes on Tuesday"
TELECOM Digest: Home Page