The Examiner reports that a security breach has exposed the data of 1,000 patients at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. “Names, Social Security numbers, birth dates and other information was released […] [t]he computer file that was breached did not include information such as medical records, or the diagnosis or prognosis for patients,” according to hospital officials.
Walter Reed is under the Department of Defense, which recently got a “D-“ for computer security in the annual report card released by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
“Walter Reed officials declined to explain exactly how the information was compromised, pending an ongoing investigation by the hospital and the Army. They would only say that the computer file was found on a ‘non-government, non-secure computer network.'”
The Examiner posts a handy list of security breaches by the US government in recent years:
— At the Agriculture Department, a hacker broke into the computer system in June 2006 and may have obtained names, Social Security numbers and photos of 26,000 Washington-area employees and contractors.
— The Veterans Affairs Department acknowledged a massive breach in May 2006, in which personal data on up to 26.5 million veterans was lost.
— At the Health and Human Services Department, personal information for nearly 17,000 Medicare beneficiaries may have been compromised in early 2006 when an insurance company employee called up the data through a hotel computer but didn’t delete the file.
— At the Energy Department, Social Security numbers and other data for about 1,500 people working for the National Nuclear Security Administration may have been compromised when a hacker gained entry to its computer system in 2005.
You can learn more about security breaches and identity theft at Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.The organization has a “Chronology of Data Breaches,” which shows that 227 million records have been exposed because of security breaches in the public and private sectors since January 2005.