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Archive for Friday, June 30, 2006

Stolen laptop with military data recovered

June 30, 2006

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— Social Security numbers and other personal data on 26.5 million veterans and military troops were not copied from a Veterans Affairs computer missing for eight weeks, the FBI said Thursday.

The recovery of the laptop and external drive was a "positive note in this very sad saga," VA Secretary Jim Nicholson said.

"This has brought to the light of day some real deficiencies in the manner we handled personal data," said Nicholson, who made the announcement at a House hearing investigating one of the nation's worst information data breaches.

Burglars stole the computer equipment from a data analyst's Maryland home on May 3. Law enforcement officials recovered the laptop and hard drive after an informant on Wednesday notified the U.S. Park Police that he had heard about a $50,000 reward and knew where they could be found.

The equipment was then turned in to officials in Montgomery County, Md., where the data analyst lives. No suspects were in custody.

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