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VA's eBenefits suffers data breach

VA's eBenefits suffers data breach

On Jan. 15, while a performance improvement update was being conducted on the Department of Veterans Affairs Ebenefits website, it was found that veterans’ accounts were overlapped; a veteran who was logged onto the system could log off, then log back on and accidentally be routed to a different veterans account. Due to the nature of the glitch, the decision was made to roll back to the previous version, which was completed on Jan. 16. Due to the sensitive nature of this error, the Ebenefits website was taken down for maintenance so that all the necessary steps could be taken to ensure the glitch had been corrected. Initially VA anticipated the glitch affected 5,351 veterans, though ultimately the number is anticipated to be much lower. Once the exact number is found, those veterans will be contacted, and as a precaution VA will provide credit monitoring service to the veteran free of charge.

VA has issued the following statement regarding the data breach.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) takes seriously our obligation to properly safeguard personal information. Wednesday evening, during a process to improve software supporting the joint VA and Department of Defense benefits web portal  e-Benefits, VA discovered a software defect. During that limited timeframe, some Veterans and Service members who had registered and logged into e-Benefits were able to see a combination of their own information as well as data from other e-Benefits users. VA took immediate action upon discovering the software defect and shut the e-Benefits system down in order to limit any problems.

VA brought eBenefits back online Sunday, after a period of down time. VA conducted a full review of the software issue and reinforced its security posture, after determining that the defect had been remedied and the portal was functioning properly.  All eBenefits functionality is now available to use.  We offer our sincere apologies to any Servicemember, Veteran or family member impacted by the software defect and the downtime.

VA’s independent Data Breach Core Team (DBCT) is reviewing this issue and believes a relatively limited number of Veterans have been affected. Once the DBCT determines the number of users impacted, their identities and other pertinent facts, VA will take the appropriate response, which may include free credit monitoring for the affected individuals, consistent with VA’s standard practice.”

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Hans Strayer

March 9, 2014 - 9:32am

I am one of several vets who were contaminated by Agent Orange , Mustard Gas and other chemicals stored at Ft. McClellan. A base that was closed for decontamination and units relocated because of chemicals stored there that not only hurt, injured and killed innocent veterans like me. I was stationed at Ft. Mac back in 1975 and did not get notified of this by anyone. I found out on Facebook ! I was told by several doctors, over 30 years, that most of my health problems are attributed to possible chemical contamination of course until now I told those doctors, "I have never been around any chemical, that I know of." Strange how for decades I was stating the cold heartless truth "that I know of." I have a daughter born Jan 1983 with more birth defects than anyone should be plagued with and until my awaking on Facebook I and countless doctors had nothing to tell as to why she was and is saddled for life with her irreversible defects. She has under gone more surgeries than me and right after her birth and discovery of her defects I felt compelled to get a vasectomy to remove me from the possible cause of her problems. Little did I know that by removing myself from the gene pool I may have saved another life from Stephanie's same peril. Of which now I know that I did. SUMMARY; Even worse than not finding out about chemicals at Ft. Mac is that when I did find out I printed a page of the info I acquired and took a copy to my VA doctor. She was not in that day and the desk clerk took it and my notes and said she would give it to Dr. Raj's head nurse. Before I even got home a lady called me identifying herself as Dr. Raj's head nurse told me, " Mr. Strayer you should not put any weight to the crap you find on the net as it and this is B.S." I heard the words on my speaker phone and could not believe my ears and I asked her to repeat what she said as I did not hear her clearly. She actually repeated herself almost verbatim. To be shunned and not notified by the very country in which I volunteered to serve and then to be vilified by my V.A. doctor in which I have confided most all of my health issues. Oh yeah, for instance just a couple weeks ago I got notified that one of my comp and pen requests was approved. I made that request in early 2004 after several years of suffering in agonizing pain and my pleas falling upon deaf ears. PLEASE HELP IF YOU CAN.......Sincerely in pain...Hans Strayer....

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