By Kurt M. Rauschenberg
National Guard Bureau
ARLINGTON, Va. – Former and current members of the Army National Guard could be affected by a breach of personal information, Guard officials said on July 10.
This incident is unrelated to the breach of federal civilian employee personal information reported last week and on Thursday by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), officials confirmed.
“All current and former Army National Guard members since 2004 could be affected by this breach because files containing personal information was inadvertently transferred to a non-DoD-accredited data center by a contract employee,” said Maj. Earl Brown, a spokesman for the National Guard Bureau. The data includes the Soldiers’ names, full Social Security numbers, dates of birth and home addresses.
“The National Guard Bureau takes the control of personal information very seriously,” Brown said. “After investigating the circumstances of these actions, and the information that was transferred, the Guard has determined, out of an abundance of caution, to inform current and past Guard personnel that their Personally Identifiable Information (PII) was among the files that were transferred.”
“The issue was identified and promptly reported, and we do not believe the data will be used unlawfully,” Brown said. “This was not a hacking incident, in which the intent was to use data for financial gain. Nonetheless, the Guard believes that individuals potentially affected need to know about the breach and what actions they can take to protect themselves from potential identity theft.”
The National Guard Bureau has set up a Web page at http://www.nationalguard.mil/Features/IdentityTheft.aspx and a toll-free call center available from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday, which began June 10. The number is 877-276-4729. The Web page provides steps on how to check credit reports, how to guard against identity theft and whom to call if Guard members believe any fraudulent activity has occurred with their personal information. The call center provides information on what to do to prevent, or react to, potential identify theft.