Information on 207,000 Army Reservists Stolen

Laptop Containing Names, Addresses, SSNs Taken from Contractor
Information on 207,000 Army Reservists Stolen
A laptop containing the names, address and Social Security numbers of more than 207,000 Army reservists has been stolen from a government contractor in Georgia, the Army Reserves confirmed Thursday.

A CD-Rom containing the personal identifiable information was in one of three laptops stolen from the Morrow, Ga., offices of Serco Inc., a government contractor based in Reston, Va. The other laptops did not contain sensitive personal information.

Lt. Col. Ben Zoller. an Army Reservist spokesman, said in an e-mail message that there have been no reported incidents of the stolen information being used for any unlawful purpose to date. Zoller said the local Morrow, Ga., police are investigating the theft and that the Army Reserve command has appointed an investigating officer to conduct a formal inquiry.

The Army Reserve began last Friday to notify those whose personal information were contained on the CD. Serco had a contract with the U.S. Army's Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Division, so some of the pilfered information also could belong to reservists' family members.

"The Army Reserve takes the management and protection of personally identifiable information very seriously and will take lessons learned from this incident and the results of the ongoing investigations to review policies, procedures and training in the management of PII and will incorporate necessary changes to ensure our PII is properly protected and safeguarded," Zoller said in the e-mail.

Citing the latest figures from the not-for-profit Identity Theft Resource Center, IT security blogger Brian Krebs, who first reported the incident, said more than 7 million consumer records have been exposed in at least 264 data breaches in 2010. The Identity Theft Resource Center has identified 38 other incidents of data loss or theft involving the government and/or the military this years, breaches that exposed nearly 300,000 records.


About the Author

Eric Chabrow

Eric Chabrow

Host & Producer, ISMG Security Report; Executive Editor, GovInfoSecurity & InfoRiskToday

Chabrow hosts and produces the semi-weekly podcast ISMG Security Report and oversees ISMG's GovInfoSecurity and InfoRiskToday. He's a veteran multimedia journalist who has covered information technology, government and business.




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