Vet data theft kept secret for 19 days

Social Security numbers of 26 million-plus veterans stolen

One of my clients is a collection agency. The owner once told me the Social Security number is the magic key. Once you get that, all sorts of data doors open up and you can find information much easier. So, this is a serious theft indeed.

I’m having a little trouble with the given story, that an employee took the data home without permission, the laptop was stolen, and the thieves don’t know what they have. Not sure how they can assume that without knowing who the thieves are. Also, how did the employee get the data? Are safeguards so flimsy that data can simply be copied to a laptop?

Could this have been an inside job? I’m not saying it was, just that it could have been. Something is oddԚ  about the story.


  1. Two odd things. First of all, the widely publicized “thieves don’t know what they have” line. Well, perhaps they didn’t, BUT THEY DO NOW!!!!! Second, echoing what you said, how on earth can they make a statement like “there’s no indication the thieves knew what they were taking.” Well, there may be “no indication,” since the thieves didn’t leave a note saying “ha, ha, we got your data,” but other than that, how on earth would they know? A famous man once said “The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence,” and it actually applies here.

  2. 26 million Socials would be worth a lot of money. Even at a penny apiece, that’s $260,000.

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