VA Investigating Possible Breach

Involves laptop of former employee
VA Investigating Possible Breach
The inspector general for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is investigating a possible healthcare information breach involving a former employee's personal laptop computer.

In an e-mail to, the VA acknowledged it's investigating "a report that a former VA physician assistant stored unauthorized clinical data about patients at the Atlanta VA Medical Center on a personal laptop computer."

The statement continued: "VA's Office of Information and Technology is trying to gather more details about the circumstances, including the number of veterans whose information was involved and the nature of the information affected.

"The results of the investigation and analysis will help determine whether to send notifications and offers of credit protection services to the affected veterans."

A VA spokesman declined to offer further details.

Back in 2006, a VA analyst conducting research downloaded information on 26.5 million veterans and active duty personnel to his personal laptop, which later was stolen and recovered. The FBI determined that no personal information was inappropriately accessed.

In January 2009, however, the VA agreed to pay $20 million to settle a lawsuit filed by veterans over the incident.

About the Author

Howard Anderson

Howard Anderson

Former News Editor, ISMG

Anderson was news editor of Information Security Media Group and founding editor of HealthcareInfoSecurity and DataBreachToday. He has more than 40 years of journalism experience, with a focus on healthcare information technology issues. Before launching HealthcareInfoSecurity, he served as founding editor of Health Data Management magazine, where he worked for 17 years, and he served in leadership roles at several other healthcare magazines and newspapers.

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