More VA Data Breaches Come to Light

More VA Data Breaches Come to Light: During a House Veterans’ Affairs hearing late last week, lawmakers chastised Veterans Affairs Secretary James Nicholson for, once again, not informing them of two incidents of data compromise—one in Minneapolis and one in Indianapolis. The Minneapolis event occurred in 2005 and involves theft of a rental car in the trunk of which a VA employee had stowed a laptop that contained patient files for 66 veterans; while, the Indianapolis compromise happened May 5 and involves a missing backup tape with data on legal claims by 16,538 veterans. The VA’s general counsel, Tim McClain, who learned of the Indianapolis event on May 23, accepted blame for failing to alert lawmakers during previous testimony. We have reported the good news from last week that the FBI has recovered the laptop and hard drive stolen in Maryland on May 3. Lawmakers are beginning to applaud Nicholson for some new preventive measures, but they are far from calling the devastating May 3 event a wash.