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Feb 7, 2007

Personal data stolen by the database-load

Here are just two of this week's stories about the theft of IT systems holding unencrypted databases of personal data.

Firstly, the US Department of Veterans Affairs ("the VA") has reported a portable hard drive containing personal data on vets lost, presumed stolen. A laptop computer containing the social security numbers of 26.5 million veterans was stolen from a VA official's home last May and another computer containing personal information on up to 38,000 veterans went missing last August. The VA is belatedly installing encryption software on its laptops at least, if not also its portable drives and desktops.

Secondly, a US accountant's stolen PC contains details of 800 clients for whom she had prepared tax returns. The thieves appear to have targeted the PC specifically since they left behind cash and checks.

More database security links