FBI Recovers Stolen Veterans Affairs Laptop - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
News
News
6/29/2006
02:12 PM
50%
50%

FBI Recovers Stolen Veterans Affairs Laptop

The Department of Veterans Affairs and the FBI aren't saying much about how or where they recovered the laptop and its external hard drive, but they did say the database containing 26.5 million personnel identities was intact and hadn't been accessed.

The Department of Veterans Affairs said Thursday that it has recovered a laptop and external hard drive containing 26.5 million veteran and active-duty military personnel identities.

The FBI said its preliminary examination of the hardware "has determined that the data base remains intact and has not been accessed since it was stolen," the Associated Press reported. The FBI is planning additional forensics tests.

The computer was turned in by an unidentified person on Wednesday. A spokesperson for the law enforcement agency, which has been investigating the data loss since it was made public in mid-May, said that the person had not been charged and was not a suspect in the May 3 burglary of a Veterans Affairs data analyst's home. The analyst had taken home the hardware and the database containing the personal records to work on a project after hours.

The FBI and VA had posted a $50,000 reward for the return of the computer and hard drive, but it's unknown if the person who brought in the gear will be eligible for the bounty.

The well-publicized theft led to hearings in the Senate and House, the dismissal of at least one manager in Veterans Affairs, and a recent memo from the White House's Office of Management and Budget with new security recommendations for all federal agencies.

In late May, VA Inspector General George Opfer told a joint Congressional hearing that the analyst had been taking home data for years. Recent documents acquired by the Associated Press showed that the analyst had received permission in 2002 to work with massive numbers of records that included Social Security numbers, and was allowed to take data off VA premises.

The analyst, still unnamed, is currently contesting his dismissal from the agency.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
2017 State of IT Report
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Top IT Trends for 2018
As we enter a new year of technology planning, find out about the hot technologies organizations are using to advance their businesses and where the experts say IT is heading.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll