The personal data of 134,386 current and former US sailors has been compromised in a security breach, the US Navy has revealed.
A compromised laptop belonging to a Navy contractor could be the source of a data breach that sees attackers steal personal data – including social security numbers – belonging to 134,386 current and former U.S. navy sailors.
The Navy revealed that it was notified by Hewlett Packard Enterprise Services of the compromised laptop, belonging to one of its employees.
As reported by the Navy Times, Vice Admiral Robert Burke, Chief of Naval Personnel stated:
The Navy takes this incident extremely seriously – this is a matter of trust for our sailors. We are in the early stages of investigating and are working quickly to identify and take care of those affected by this breach.
The data breach is believed to only contain names and corresponding social security numbers of sailors, according to one Navy official who spoke to ABC News.
The official also revealed that the contract with HP was for a program called Career Waypoints, which enables sailors to reenlist or apply for new Navy jobs. An early investigation has not uncovered any evidence to show that compromised data was used for malicious purposes.
The incident draws parallels to the OPM (Office of Personnel Management) breach from 2015, which saw hackers – frequently alleged to be Chinese – steal personal data belonging to a staggering 22 million federal employees and contractors.
In a statement to the news outlet, HP Enterprise spokesman Thomas Wat Brandt stated:
The security and privacy of our clients is a top priority for Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). This event has been reported to the Navy and because this is an ongoing investigation, HPE will not be commenting further out of respect for the privacy of our Navy personnel.
The Navy will be notifying all affected sailors by phone, email and mail about the incident and is working toward offering credit monitoring services for them.
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