Users login

Create an account »

JOIN XATRIX

Users login

Home » Hacking News » Thieves nab personal information of 500,000 members of military and families

Thieves nab personal information of 500,000 members of military and families

by Nikola Strahija on December 28th, 2002 Thieves who broke into a government contractor's office snatched computer hard drives containing Social Security numbers, addresses and other records of about 500,000 members of the military and their families. The company, Phoenix-based TriWest Healthcare Alliance, provides managed health care to the military in 16 states, including Minnesota.


It serves about 1.1 million active-duty personnel, their dependents and retirees. TriWest spokesman Jim Kassebaum said Thursday that no one whose records were stolen has reported a fraud related to the Dec. 14 theft. "There's a potential for identity theft," Kassebaum said. "If you know anything about identity theft, it's a little insidious, because until it happens, you can't do anything about it." The company said some credit-card numbers may also have been stolen. The Defense Department's medical program said TriWest told it about the theft on Dec. 20.

TriWest has established a hot line and plans to begin mailings to all 500,000 enrollees on Friday. Kassebaum said the investigation is being handled by Defense Department investigators and the FBI. Defense Department investigators in Phoenix declined comment. TriWest President and chief executive David J. McIntyre Jr. said it was possible that the computer equipment was taken specifically for the information it contained. He said the building has "reasonable security. Not barbed wire and all of that, but reasonable security for a company." He defended the time delay in notifying federal authorities and enrollees, saying the theft wasn't discovered until Dec. 16. He said he did not learn until Dec. 19 that hard drives with personal information were missing.


Newsletter signup

Signup to our monthly newsletter and stay in touch with IT news!

Free E-books

We've got ebooks! But they're not online. :( Please give us a few days to bring downloads back.

Contact

Have something to say or just wanna drop us a line? Please keep this in mind: to spam, we reply with spam.

Contact us »