Army database may have been breached

An Army database that contains personal information about nearly 1,600 soldiers may have been penetrated by unauthorized users, Army officials have announced.

Soldiers who registered with, or participated in, the Army-sponsored Operation Tribute to Freedom program during the past five years may be affected by the security breach, Army officials said March 10. The service is notifying those soldiers about the issue through e-mail messages and letters.

The information that may have been breached includes the service members' names, e-mail messages, phone numbers, home addresses, awards received, ranks, gender, ethnicity, and dates the soldiers deployed and returned from their deployment, Army officials said.

Only information that was provided at the time of registration was potentially compromised, officials said. The Criminal Investigation Command is investigating how the password-protected, secure Web-based information was penetrated.

Operation Tribute to Freedom  lets soldiers share their stories with the public. The program’s speakers service helps event coordinators find the soldiers for events and the service members speak about their experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Federal Computer Week.

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Reader comments

Mon, Mar 16, 2009 darwin

SSL encrypts the network(ip) packets between the browser and the webserver. SSL is very easy and cheap to implement. However, the level of effort that goes into protecting the server (and it's database/data) itself is largely unknown by the surfer. So, yea, if you see a website can't be bothered to even use SSL, then it may be a tip of the iceberg.

Mon, Mar 16, 2009 ~SouLvo!D~

the SSH that is used is just a different type of security used. its not potentially different from any other SSH used. The problem is in the amount of data allowed to access the networks. Other types of security issues exist as well. The Army needs to include more individuals who specialize in this expertise in their operations. Every type of company needs to realize the risk involved when their security/IT dept. is under financed and appreciated. Let this be a lesson to any business. Focus on IT and stop under financing operations.

Mon, Mar 16, 2009

This is not a surprise. I was on one of their web sites and their were issues with the certificates for their SSL. Needless, to say I contacted them and explained the issue. I got a response back saying that I should not worry about it. I wasn't convinced and did not use their SSL services. Is some education needed here??? When my broswer stops me from going to a site and advises me not due to certificate erros, taht's not a good thing.

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