The Ministry of Veterans Affairs (VA) of USA recently revealed that some hackers attacked systems of and stole personally data about 46.000 war veterans. As we learn now, the violation also affected community care providers complementing the organization's medical program.
It is said that about 17.000 community care providers provide services health in veterans have been affected by the recent infringement of the Ministry of Veterans Affairs. All those affected have been notified of the breach.
"Based on the information available, it appears that this incident was carried out by individuals who were able to find weaknesses in the way the Ministry of Veterans Affairs relates to healthcare providers.", Said senators in letter in the VA. They also said that the data of the affected providers have to do with agreements and payments of veterans.
The VA reacted to what the senators said:
"There were 13 community care providers affected by this incident, not 17.000. The VA will compensate those providers who have had problems with paymentsSaid Christina Noel, a ministry spokeswoman, in an email to the Federal News Network. However, he did not give further details to explain the huge discrepancy between the number given by the Ministry of Veterans Affairs and the one given by the senators.
As we have already mentioned, the violation affected social security numbers and other personal data 46.000 veterans, but senators said they are also exposed bank account information of community care providers.
The Ministry launched an investigation but did not focus on this system violated. According to the senators' letter, the "customer engagement portal" was website of the Ministry that was violated. The portal was one of 85 different systems managed by VA Financial Services Center.
The Financial Services Center provides services administrative and financial management at the Ministry of Veterans Affairs and other federal services.
The senators asked various questions to the Ministry about the incident. One of the questions was what measures have been taken to prevent such an issue from happening again.
The senators support the investigation that is being done but at the same time question the Ministry as well other similar incidents have taken place in the past and obviously the necessary actions have not been taken.
The weakness that the hackers is a problem that has existed for years in the Ministry of Veterans Affairs. The information provided to Congress on this incident raises countless questions. There is doubt about the VA's ability to deal with the current incident and protect veterans' data.
According to senators, officials from the VA Information and Technology Office said that the infringement was the responsibility of the department's Financial Services Center.
"This recent violation data is unacceptable", Wrote the senators. "It also shows that the Department has not taken the necessary steps to ensure the oversight and security of the vast financial data, health data and other personal information it collects and processes to perform its critical services to America's veterans. Events like these affect the lives of veterans as well as those working with the VA. There is an urgent need to take action to address this current incident and to devise a strategy to prevent such problems in the future.ν ”.
On the other hand, A ministry spokeswoman said there had been steady progress in improving it security in cyberspace. The Ministry has done many things to enhance its security.