June 29, 2006
The FBI said a preliminary review of the equipment by computer forensic teams determined that the database remains intact and has not been accessed since it was stolen. A thorough forensic examination is underway, and the results will be shared.
U.S. Secretary for Veteran Affairs Jim Nicholson said, "The investigation continues to see whether or not this information has been compromised in any way or copied. There is reason, however, to be optimistic."
The laptop computer was stolen May 3 from the suburban Washington home of a VA analyst. While the analyst reported the theft right after the laptop was taken, Nicholson wasn't told until May 16th and it was May 22nd when the public was informed.
The data on the computer included information such as names, Social Security numbers and birthdates, on some 26.5 million veterans and current U.S. military personnel. The VA has offered to pay for a year of credit monitoring for affected veterans, a plan that would cost about $160.5 million.
The laptop computer was recovered
in Baltimore, Maryland.
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