On Monday, May 22nd, The Department of Veterans Affairs made an announcement that the files of approximately 26 million U.S. veterans were stolen during from the house of a government employee. The data taken was stored on a laptop and external drive from the home of a computer analyst in Montgomery County, Maryland.
The theft took place 19 days earlier on May 3rd but the government waited to release this to the public with the apparent hope hope of catching the burglars before they knew what the data was. Veteran Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson said that the information included the name, birth dates and Social Security numbers of all living veterans since 1975.
The FBI and the inspector general of Veteran Affairs are investigating the case. The Veteran Affairs Secretary does not seem to think that the thieves were actually after the stolen data. The analyst has been placed on adminsitrative leave for the duration of the investigation but is apparently not a suspect.