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Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs


Secretary Nicholson Provides Update on Stolen Data Incident: Data Matching With Department of Defense Providing New Details

June 6, 2006

Printable Version


WASHINGTON – As part of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA’s) ongoing efforts to determine, to every extent possible, what information was included in the stolen data taken from an employee’s home last month, Secretary of Veterans Affairs R. James Nicholson today announced that data stolen on 26.5 million individuals included information on more active-duty military personnel than initial findings indicated. 

VA announced over the weekend that information on some active-duty personnel were among the data stolen on up to 26.5 million individuals.  Initial findings from VA and the Department of Defense indicated the personal information on approximately 50,000 active duty, National Guard and Reserve personnel may have been involved.  

As the two agencies compared electronic files, VA and DoD learned that personal information on as many as 1.1 million military members on active duty, 430,000 members of the National Guard, and 645,000 members of the Reserves may have been included in the data theft. 

Law enforcement agencies investigating the incident have no indication that the stolen information has been used to commit identity theft.

VA receives records for every new accession and military enlistee because active-duty personnel and National Guard and Reservists are eligible to receive certain VA benefits, such as GI Bill educational assistance and the home loan guaranty program.

VA remains committed to providing updates on this incident as new information is learned,” said Secretary Nicholson.  “The Department will continue to make every effort to inform and help protect those potentially affected, and is working with the Department of Defense to notify all affected personnel.”

Secretary Nicholson said VA is currently in discussions with several entities regarding services to determine how veterans and active-duty personnel potentially affected can best be protected.  

Those who believe they may be affected can continue to go to www.firstgov.gov for more information on this matter.  VA also continues to operate a call center that individuals can contact to get information about this incident and learn more about consumer-identity protections.  That toll free number is 1-800-FED INFO.  The call center is operating from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm (EDT), Monday-Saturday as long as it is needed.  (Note:  In response to reduced demand subsequent to the recovery of the stolen computer equipment, call center hours were changed on July 10, to Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Eastern time.)

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WASHINGTON – As part of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA’s) ongoing efforts to determine, to every extent possible, what information was included in the stolen data taken from an employee’s home last month, Secretary of Veterans Affairs R. James Nicholson today announced that data stolen on 26.5 million individuals included information on more active-duty military personnel than initial findings indicated. 

VA announced over the weekend that information on some active-duty personnel were among the data stolen on up to 26.5 million individuals.  Initial findings from VA and the Department of Defense indicated the personal information on approximately 50,000 active duty, National Guard and Reserve personnel may have been involved.  

As the two agencies compared electronic files, VA and DoD learned that personal information on as many as 1.1 million military members on active duty, 430,000 members of the National Guard, and 645,000 members of the Reserves may have been included in the data theft. 

Law enforcement agencies investigating the incident have no indication that the stolen information has been used to commit identity theft.

VA receives records for every new accession and military enlistee because active-duty personnel and National Guard and Reservists are eligible to receive certain VA benefits, such as GI Bill educational assistance and the home loan guaranty program.

VA remains committed to providing updates on this incident as new information is learned,” said Secretary Nicholson.  “The Department will continue to make every effort to inform and help protect those potentially affected, and is working with the Department of Defense to notify all affected personnel.”

Secretary Nicholson said VA is currently in discussions with several entities regarding services to determine how veterans and active-duty personnel potentially affected can best be protected.  

Those who believe they may be affected can continue to go to www.firstgov.gov for more information on this matter.  VA also continues to operate a call center that individuals can contact to get information about this incident and learn more about consumer-identity protections.  That toll free number is 1-800-FED INFO.  The call center is operating from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm (EDT), Monday-Saturday as long as it is needed.  (Note:  In response to reduced demand subsequent to the recovery of the stolen computer equipment, call center hours were changed on July 10, to Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Eastern time.)

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