Missing Laptop With Veterans’ Data Recovered

Michael Hoffman – June 30, 2006 10:13 AM

The laptop was turned in by an unidentified woman

It was earlier reported that a laptop with the Social Security numbers and birth dates of 26.5 million veterans had been stolen in late May. The Department of Veterans Affairs announced yesterday that the missing laptop and hard drive containing the sensitive material has successfully been recovered. The Federal Bureau of Investigation believes that the information has not been copied or misused. The laptop was taken after a Department of Veterans Affairs employee brought the material home without authorization. The VA had been working hard to ensure that everyone affected has been protected.

After the information about the theft was made public at the end of last month, the VA and FBI put a $50,000 reward towards the return of the laptop. The person that returned the laptop is not a suspect and has not been charged with any crimes. It has not been announced if the person who returned the laptop will be eligible for the reward.

During the same House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs in Washington that revealed the laptop had been returned, a bit of bad news was reported. A tape missing since May 5 has 16,000 records from the Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Counsel Office in Indianapolis, Indiana. Almost 12,500 of the records contain Social Security numbers, birth dates and medical records.


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