Over 100,000 U.S. Navy sailors have had their personal information — including names, Social Security numbers and other sensitive information — exposed in a data breach, according to The Associated Press.
On Oct. 27, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Services alerted the Navy to the “compromise” of a laptop that contained information on 134,386 current and former sailors. The laptop had been used by an employee working on a Navy contract.
The Navy disclosed the situation to the public on Wednesday. The thousands of sailors affected were in a re-enlistment approval database, according to the Navy Times.
“The Navy takes this incident extremely seriously — this is a matter of trust for our sailors,” said Vice Adm. Robert Burke, chief of naval personnel, in a statement. “We are in the early stages of investigating and are working quickly to identify and take care of those affected by this breach.”
Contracted activities by Hewlett Packard for the Navy have experienced two other major data breaches in recent years.
In 2013, the Navy disclosed that Iran had made their way into the unclassified Navy and Marine Corps Intranet.
Then, in June 2014, Chinese hackers broke into the Office of Personnel Management’s computer systems, and by the following summer it was shown that 18 million troops and federal workers who had filled out security clearance documents had their personal information stolen in the biggest hack of federal information in history, according to the Navy Times.
Burke’s office noted that there was no evidence that the exposed information had been misused. For the sailors that had their information exposed, the Navy will look into offering credit monitoring services.
Identity theft is a serious issue in this country and can be incredibly devastating for those affected. No one should have to go through it, but especially not those who have answered the call to serve this country.
Hopefully the breach was caught soon enough and the sailors’ information won’t be compromised any further. Still, more needs to be done about this major issue that can devastate the lives of the many people affected every year.
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