PC with sensitive data missing from subcontractor

A desktop PC containing the personal information of up to 36,000U.S. military veterans has gone missing from U.S. Department ofVeterans Affairs (VA) subcontractor UnisysCorp., the VA announced.

The PC may have contained VA patients’ names, addresses, SocialSecurity Numbers, dates of birth, insurance carriers and billinginformation, dates of military service, and claims data that mayinclude some medical information, the VA said.

Unisys notified the VA on Thursday that the computer was missingfrom the subcontractor’s Reston, Virginia, offices.

The VA immediately dispatched a team to Unisys to assist in thesearch for computer and to help determine what information it held,the VA said in a press release.

The announcement comes after the VA said in late May that alaptop and hard drive containing the personal data of 26.5 millionveterans and their spouses was stolen from a VA analysts’ home.

Police recovered the laptop and hard drive inlate June, but the theft set off a series of hearings in the U.S.Congress about the VA’s management and IT organization, withseveral lawmakers calling for an overhaul of the VA’s decentralizedIT reporting structure.

On Saturday, Montgomery County, Maryland, police announced theyhad arrested two Maryland men for the theft of the laptop and harddrive.

In the Unisys case, the VA believes the missing personal recordsbelong to people who received treatment at the VA’s twoPennsylvania medical centres during the past four years.

The PC appears to have contained personal information for about5,000 patients treated at Philadelphia, about 11,000 patientstreated at Pittsburgh, and it may have also contained informationfrom another 20,000 people treated at the VA’s Pittsburgh medicalcenter.

The PC appears to have also contained information on about 2,000deceased patients, the VA said.

The VA is working with Unisys to offer credit monitoring andindividual notifications to potential victims, the VA said.

“VA is making progress to reform its information technology andcybersecurity procedures, but this report of a missing computer ata subcontractor’s secure building underscores the complexity of thework ahead as we establish VA as a leader in data and informationsecurity,” VA Secretary R. James Nicholson said in astatement.

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