Breach, Data Security

Arkansas National Guard external hard drive goes missing

UPDATE: The external hard drive was discovered at the home of a guard member's family member in Virginia while the solider was on temporary duty there. The drive was recovered and destroyed on May 15, 2010.

An external hard drive containing the personal information about tens of thousands of Arkansas National Guard soldiers recently went missing.

How many victims? 35,000.

What type of personal information? Names, Social Security numbers and other unspecified personal information.

What happened? An Arkansas National Guard soldier reported the loss after conducting an unsuccessful search to find the drive when it was first realized as missing on Feb. 15. The unencrypted drive was a backup storage device used by the soldier to archive work related information over the past six years.

The device was last used in November.

Details: A team of guardsmen searching data known to be on the missing drive have discovered that one of the files was a personnel database containing information on all soldiers who have served in the Arkansas Army National Guard since 1991.

There is no evidence that the device was stolen.

What was the response? The guard is working to identify those affected and alert them of the breach. The incident is under investigation to help ensure steps are taken to help prevent a similar breach from occurring in the future.

Source:, KTLO News, “Arkansas National Guard alerting soldiers of data loss," March 5.

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