Breach, Data Security

National Guard member information posted online

The personal information of thousands of Mississippi National Guard personnel was inadvertently posted online for several weeks, beginning in early September.

How many victims? Nearly 3,000.

What type of personal information? Names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, security clearance data, ranks and pay grades and home and cell phone numbers.

What happened? The breached administrative records belonged to members of the 155th Brigade Combat Team and were compiled at various times between 2006 and 2008, including while the brigade was deployed in Iraq. The files were posted on Sept. 10, to the brigade's Microsoft SharePoint website, which did not require a password to access. The guard is investigating how the breach occurred, but officials believe that it inadvertently happened when someone uploaded the files to a new computer system.

Details: The National Guard was notified about the breach by Aaron Titus, information privacy director of Liberty Coalition, a Washington-based policy institute. The group operates the website,, where users can find out if their personal information has been compromised.

During the time the files were posted, they could have been potentially viewed by anyone online.

The website can no longer be accessed.

Quote: "Information management is working feverishly to get to the bottom of it," Tim Powell, a spokesman for the National Guard, said. "We take this very seriously and are incorporating numerous layers of internet security on our website."

Source: Associated Press via the Army Times, “Miss. Guard personnel information compromised,” Oct. 8, 2010.

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