Latest Breach Hits Navy

The military branch is notifying as many as 28,000 in the latest government failure to protect personal data.
Posted June 27, 2006

Roy Mark

There's been another government data breach. This time it's the U.S. Navy.

Late Friday afternoon, the Navy announced approximately 28,000 sailors and their family members were exposed to potential identity theft when a civilian Web site posted five spreadsheets with the personal data of military personnel. According to the Navy, there is no evidence that any of the data has been used illegally. The files have been removed from the site, and the Navy is investigating how and when the files were placed on the Internet.

"Once again, we face the prospect that sensitive information on active duty military personnel has possibly been compromised," U.S. Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) said in a statement. "It is a reminder that, in this modern age, federal agencies and military offices must take every caution to ensure the safety of sensitive personal information."

The Joint Task Force Global Network Operations first reported the breach to the Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command, part of the Naval Network Warfare Command. The Chief of Naval Personnel was notified on Thursday.

"In this case, it appears the Navy took quick action to get the data removed from the Web site and soon will be contacting the affected individuals, and I applaud them for their response," Davis said.

The latest breach follows an outbreak of disclosures by various federal agencies, including the Veterans Administration (VA), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA).

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