Navy: Exposed personal data was Katrina-related

The Navy said the personal information of more than 30,000 sailors that a civilian Web site exposed pertains to sailors and their families located in areas affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Lt. Justin Cole, a spokesman for the chief of naval personnel, said the Navy collected the personal information in relation to hurricane relief operations.

Cole said the Navy has no idea how someone published the information on the Web site. The site has removed that information. Cole declined to identify the site or its purpose, but he said it was not a medical or health information Web site.

The Navy said last week it first became aware of the exposure of the personal information June 22 in a report by the Joint Task Force-Global Network Operations the Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command, part of the Naval Network Warfare Command (Netwarcom).

The personal information was contained in five spreadsheet files on the Web site and included the name, birth dates and Social Security numbers of sailors and family members, the Navy said.

The service mailed letters to all 30,618 service members and their families affected by the incident, the Navy added. The service said it has no evidence that someone has illegally used the personal information on the Web site.

Cole said the Naval Criminal Investigative Service is investigating the incident. But he declined to provide further details.

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