Hardly a day goes by without some organization releasing people’s personal data:

The Navy has begun a criminal investigation after Social Security numbers and other personal data for 28,000 sailors and family members were found on a civilian Web site.

The Navy said Friday the information was in five documents and included people’s names, birth dates and Social Security numbers. Navy spokesman Lt. Justin Cole would not identify the Web site or its owner, but said the information had been removed. He would not provide any details about how the information ended up on the site.

Cole said there was no indication so far that the information was used illegally, but individuals involved were being contacted and encouraged to monitor their bank accounts and credit cards.

This happened to me last year:

Some of the nation’s most influential former military and intelligence officials have been informed in recent days that they are at risk of identity theft after a break-in at a major government contractor netted computers containing the Social Security numbers and other personal information about tens of thousands of past and present company employees.

The contractor, employee-owned Science Applications International Corp. of San Diego, handles sensitive government contracts, including many in information security. It has a reputation for hiring Washington’s most powerful figures when they leave the government, and its payroll has been studded with former secretaries of defense, CIA directors and White House counterterrorism advisers.

Those former officials — along with the rest of a 45,000-person workforce in which a significant percentage of employees hold government security clearances — were informed last week that their private information may have been breached and they need to take steps to protect themselves from fraud.

Nobody has tried to by a Gulfstream jet in my name yet but I still watch my credit closely.


  1. Dusty

    I suggested after the last mass release of SSN’s, Vets IIRC, that the Feds initiate a program for issuing new SSN’s under these and similar circumstances. We are way past the paper record stage when issuing new numbers would have been a massive undertaking. Credit card companies reissue new cards, which are essentially just new card numbers, all the time. So, with computer databases create a new number; cross reference the old and new number; keep the old for linking purposes, but set it as inactive; and issue a new number.

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  3. Michael

    This may seem like dumb questions…

    1) Have there been apprehensions of the criminals in any of these crimes?
    2) If not, and we’re talking military, post-military and CIA, top brass, etc., is anyone looking at this from a different angle as possible cover for spy operations?

    Afterall, its real easy to steal computers, make it look like a regular break in, capture all the info for multiple target purposes and then release the hardware.

    Just curious, or am I to conspiracy minded? It sure is an easy way for foreign governments and enemies to get solid information.

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