Legion to VA: Protect veterans personal information

The American Legion is challenging the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to take whatever measures are necessary to protect veterans personal information after a recent software defect on its eBenefits website exposed the online accounts of about 5,000 veterans to unauthorized users.

American Legion National Commander Daniel M. Dellinger wonders why such data breaches continue to plague the department.

"We’ve seen VA expose sensitive information about veterans before," Dellinger said. "Now it has happened with the relatively new eBenefits website. How can VA expect our veterans to file for benefits online when they may be risking identity theft by doing so?"

The defective software allowed veterans and servicemembers logged onto eBenefits to view account information of other users. After discovering the problem, VA shut down the system and switched over to an earlier version of the software.

VA’s Data Breach Core Team (DBCT) is reviewing the eBenefits failure. According to a statement issued by VA, once the DBCT determines the individual veterans affected, "VA will take the appropriate response, which may include free credit monitoring for the affected individuals, consistent with VA’s standard practice."

"There should be no ‘may’ in that statement," Dellinger said. "We want VA to guarantee credit monitoring services for every individual whose personal information may have been breached. That is the least VA can do to atone for its latest compromise of data."

Dellinger credited VA for informing the public about the eBenefits failure and for taking immediate action to minimize the damage. "But these data breaches need to stop," he said. "VA can’t continue to expose our veterans to identity theft. VA needs to take care of defective software before rolling out any online system."

The American Legion encourages any veteran who wants to file for benefits to contact an accredited American Legion service officer. Find a service officer in your state by visiting www.legion.org/serviceofficers.


  1. The only reason this communist pig is spying on the veterans is to get something on us so they can come and take our weapons, but I will not give it up. This jerk hates the veterans because we usually vote republican and he wants to damage that and make us look like a bunch of jerks running wild. He should be tried for treason against this country and the people, and for dereliction of duty to the American people and shirking his responsibility to uphold the constitution, the same oath we took many years ago, but still stand firm for us to this day and always will.
  2. You can believe that you are not alone. When push comes to shove we will stand together. I an concerned that we will not have support from many non veterans. The draft should never have been eleminated. Every MAN should required to serve his country for two years.
  3. Its Getting where you cant trust your Government & Computer Are Pain in Ass. Give out to much Information & cell phone Its going to get where you want give out Information to VA or Any one. Im 100 % DAV USAF. God Bless America.
  4. The only way the Veteran's Administration can or ever could protect veteran's information is the following: 1) Quit using their Social Security Number! 2) Use the UPC coded ID cards that cost lots of money to scan at each medical appointment instead of asking your last name and last four digits of SS # 3) Ask for the veteran's ID each and every time any business is transacted at the VA 4) Terminate and NEVER hire Compensated Work therapy or Incentive therapy patients to do clerical work or any work that gives them access to the computer terminals or that places them in the Janitorial services of the hospital or claims department with easy access to pertinent, private information of veteran's. 5) Make sure the background check of a potential employee is done and received by Personnel prior to said employee beginning work at VA facilities. 6) Hire people with some experience instead of their friends and family members. 7) Hold employees accountable for their errors 8) Allow medical malpractice suits on Physicians. A few of those and you'll see less deaths and mistakes at the VA. 9) Practice the HIPPA law instead of quoting it as if they do
  5. What you said is true. They distorted security by making the SS # unsecure. This was the start of the problem today.
  6. In this day and age, where we know the perils involving the internet, how is it that this can happen over and over? Who is responsible for rolling out these defective systems that obviously were never thoroughly examined and tested? I'm afraid the age of electronics is capable of being the worst enemy we've ever faced, and I have no faith or confidence in it anymore. It began with a lot of hope that it could make things better and easier, but it is proving to be one hell of a target for anyone with nefarious purposes.
  7. The VA should immediately stop using social security numbers for identification. The military has gone to a new numbering system; maybe the VA could use the same one. Did you know that anyone with a cell phone can read your VA ID card bar code and get all your personal information, including your social security number?
  8. I would also go as far as to fix military dot com too. That site sucks and is running windows biggest hole in the computer world. Get some real admins my god you are the Government.
  9. For starters, military dot com is not a government site, hence the (com). If it were it would be a (gov).
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