Latest Theft of Veteran Data Resolved

September 18, 2006 ( - A stolen computer containing the personal data of about 16,000 patients at Veterans Affairs medical centers has been recovered. reports that Khalil Abdullah-Raheem was arrested and charged with theft of government property and has been released on $50,000 bond. Abdullah-Raheem was a temporary building maintenance employee of Unisys Corp., which had been contracted to assist in insurance collections for various VA medical centers.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is conducting a forensic analysis of the computer owned by Unisys to see if any data was compromised, according to Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Larry Craig said in a statement that investigators believe the computer was stolen to record music.

This is the second time VA has encountered a data breach. Officials reported in June they had recovered a laptop and external hard drive that was stolen May 3 from the Maryland home of a Department of Veterans Affairs employee (See Laptop with Veteran Information Recovered). The database contained records of 26.5 million veterans and up to 1.1 million active-duty military personnel.

The department announced a month ago that it will begin encrypting all agency computers, reports. All agency laptops were to be encrypted by Friday, and desktop computers are to be encrypted next.

Public reports of security breaches have become more frequent in the last year, including the report of a stolen computer containing personal information for Boeing employees (See Boeing Employee Data Stolen ) and reports of a stolen truck carrying backup tapes for Bisys Group Inc. and investor lists fraudulently obtained from Automatic Data Processing Inc. (See Two Companies Report Theft of Investor Data ).