Thursday, February 22nd 2007

FBI Offers $25,000 for Lost Hard Drive

"Get rich, or die trying" - this time, there is no risk involved. The Birmingham Veterans Administration Medical Center, Alabama, in co-operation with the FBI, is looking for a lost hard drive, that went missing some time this week. The reward is set at a hefty $25 000 - the equation information = money literally applies in this case. The HDD was used as a backup disk for patients' information, and apparently, there were at least 500 000 medical records on the device. The reward is also being offered for the identification of anyone responsible for the loss of the Iomega external hard drive.

Anyone with information is asked to call the VA Medical Center at 933-8101, ext. 4401; the FBI at 326-6166; the VA OIG hot line at 1-800-488-8244; or the VA Medical Center Police at 933-8101, ext. 6444.Source: Beta News and The Birmingham News
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22 Comments on FBI Offers $25,000 for Lost Hard Drive

#1
C.Ash
What are the chances that its just lost? Makes more sense that someone took it and it keeping it in their possession. Thus, the chances that one will be able to locate it and return it to the medical facility are too few.
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#3
ghost101
I have it but i want £50k. Take it or leave it.
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#4
Completely Bonkers
I have an IDENTICAL drive, and you can have it for 50%. The 50% discount is because I cannot guarantee the data. I reformatted it already.

:roll:
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#5
Thermopylae_480
Why in the world would you keep sensitive data like that on an external HD? Such silliness.
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#6
Namslas90
It's funny until you realize you are a Veteran and that your information is on that drive!!

Mine is and that suck's, 2nd time in 5 years thats happened!!
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#7
Completely Bonkers
@Nam,

For us Europeans... could you please explain what data is on these disks that is SO SENSITIVE? Would like to understand... Thx
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#8
Namslas90
by: Completely Bonkers
@Nam,

For us Europeans... could you please explain what data is on these disks that is SO SENSITIVE? Would like to understand... Thx
Most likley personal identity w/address, family members and complete medical records.
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#9
stevorob
Social security number, dob, and all that other stuff...

Enough for someone to steal your identity.
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#10
WarEagleAU
Bird of Prey
I heard of this on my local news, afterall, Birmingham is just two hours south of me here in Gurley, AL (Outside of Huntsville, AL). Cool deal, however, if I were to tell them I found it, Id be arrested within the hour.
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#11
Namslas90
by: stevorob
Social security number, dob, and all that other stuff...

Enough for someone to steal your identity.
Thanx, Stevorob, I realy didn't want to advertise the EXACT details!!

Two years ago when they lost a HDD is was returned anonymously and had not been accessed, It was determined that the theif was not willing to become a National Traitor, and truly regreted the theft.
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#12
Namslas90
by: russianboy
Hmmm, all that info and no backup?

Pathetic really, I back up everything I come in contact with, and such a company with such important info MUST have backups and servers w/ RAID and everything.

Sad really.
The information is backed up. The drive that's missing was an external one, used by employees to take home to 'work from home'. The problem is the Personal Private Information contained within the files.
Identity theft is a growing problem worldwide! If they steal your Identity they can take all your money and ruin your Credit Rating, and even break the law in your name making you liable. Most people never fully recover from having their identity stolen. Some cases are over thirty years old and these people can't even get a telephone without paying a $1000 deposite, due to bad credit.
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#13
Completely Bonkers
I what way is this "identity" theft actually used? Since the info doesnt seem to be any more than what you can find in a phonebook. (EXCEPT for the social security number).

To be honest, I don't understand exactly what someone can do with this data? Unless, it is something along the lines of fake credit... but then without YOUR signature, you are not legally liable.

My question remains? What info are they using for what? It just doesnt seem like a big issue, unless there are some MAJOR weaknesses in government or bank adminstration.

EDIT
Thanks for post -1. That helps to explain. Basically, too much "instant" credit relying on private credit rating agencies that:

1./ Use incorrect false data to create a credit record
2./ They are under no obligation to correct data
3./ No proper photo ID in the US

******************

So, its not the data itself that is the problem, but how private companies are USING the data in their management processes... without proper validation.

Class action lawsuit required.
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#14
Namslas90
by: Completely Bonkers
I what way is this "identity" theft actually used? Since the info doesnt seem to be any more than what you can find in a phonebook. (EXCEPT for the social security number).

To be honest, I don't understand exactly what someone can do with this data? Unless, it is something along the lines of fake credit... but then without YOUR signature, you are not legally liable.

My question remains? What info are they using for what? It just doesnt seem like a big issue, unless there are some MAJOR weaknesses in government or bank adminstration.
With a name, address and social security number, one can walk into the Department of Motor Vehicles and claim they lost their Drivers license. Get a new one with their picture, address and your signature in their handwriting, then apply for credit. Also, they can enter the bank claim they forgot their account number and get all your money (because now they have a Drivers License with a picture on it). Basicaly they become YOU and take everthing you have, and put you in debt with credit. Meanwhile you are paying your bills and thus writing bad checks. This is not a new type of crime, but is getting more and more popular with ileagle imagrants, exporting the money back to their homes in foriegn countries.
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#15
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
these are vets to so if any "persons" from a warring state wants to kidnap a vet they could make big bucks off an old vet :shadedshu not to mention the ID theft crap that will prolly end up being pulled :shadedshu bet the techie who left that out has a dell no wait that would be a good choice bet the techie has an emachines
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#16
Completely Bonkers
@nam

Thanks for the explanation. The govt really needs to tighten up. And being able to create an accepted "photo id" in this manner is unacceptable. And that knowing this is so easy, that other institutions, e.g. banks or other gvt agencies, will open access to your account so easily. It's criminally reckless.

I understand your concern 100%
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#17
Namslas90
by: Completely Bonkers
@nam

Thanks for the explanation. The govt really needs to tighten up. And being able to create an accepted "photo id" in this manner is unacceptable. And that knowing this is so easy, that other institutions, e.g. banks or other gvt agencies, will open access to your account so easily. It's criminally reckless.

I understand your concern 100%
Another way they steal is by taking checks you have mailed out of the mailbox. They photocopy them and wash them with chemicals to remove the pen ink but not the printed ink. Then they rewrite the check in a stolen ID's name and sign it by tracing the photocopy. Then they use the stolen Id to cash the check. Now both the person who "wrote" the check and the person who had their ID stolen are both liable for the money!!
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#18
Namslas90
by: russianboy
They photoshop it?
No, they use a mix of solvents that will erase the PEN INK, but not the PRINTING on the check.
The PRINTING has the account number and name of BANK.
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#19
Guttboy
Nam....10000000% this sucks. I have gone through this route 2 separate times and it just blows. Setting up fraud alerts on everything, monitoring accounts, setting up passwords, getting credit reports. Then having to do many other things over again when it gets "lost" again.
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#20
Darkrealms
We had a situation like that not to long ago in OR/WA area with an employee's laptop going missing, and Vets data being on that as well. Very scary.
Brian
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#21
DRDNA
by: Thermopylae_480
Why in the world would you keep sensitive data like that on an external HD? Such silliness.
Its Very much against the law to store sensitive data like that on JUST an External Harddrive.The law is governed by SOX !!!

I for see lawsuits.
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#22
Darkrealms
by: DRDNA
Its Very much against the law to store sensitive data like that on JUST an External Harddrive.The law is governed by SOX !!!

I for see lawsuits.
An example: having a large patient database, we were required to transfer 80gb of PT data to another location (it was also in the form of a backup). Tell me how else to viably do that. (tape systems were incompatable)
Yes it was encrypted and maintained.
Brian
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