Laptop containing personal information about MWR customers stolen

By FMWRC Public AffairsDecember 16, 2009

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Dec. 16, 2009) -- A laptop computer containing names and personally identifiable information for slightly more than 42,000 Fort Belvoir Morale, Welfare and Recreation patrons was stolen from a Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command employee Nov. 28.

The Family and MWR Command was made aware of the theft Dec. 1, and began assessing the extent of the security breach and preparing to notify affected customers. Letters were sent this week to all affected patrons explaining the nature of the breach.

Officials at FMWRC apologized for any inconvenience this may cause their patrons. They said FMWRC takes the security and integrity of patron information very seriously, and is currently reviewing policies to determine how to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

Information Security experts said they believe it is unlikely the information on the computer will be compromised. Anyone attempting access to the data on the computer would have to bypass three layers of security access and encryption passwords.

It's far more likely the hard drive will be removed, discarded, and replaced, according to the risk assessment.

The Family and MWR Command operates numerous facilities on Fort Belvoir, including childcare centers, bowling centers, restaurants, outdoor recreation facilities, and golf courses. Soldiers, family members, Department of Defense employees and other authorized MWR patrons who used an MWR facility on Fort Belvoir since 2005 may be included in the data on the laptop.

Patrons who have used a Fort Belvoir MWR facility since 2005 but have not received official notification from the Family and MWR Command are encouraged to call 866-276-9697 from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (EST) weekdays to determine if they were included in the database, and learn how to guard against misuse of the information.

There was forced entry to the employee's residence and other high-value electronics and jewelry were stolen. Local authorities are investigating what appears to be a random burglary, and military authorities are investigating whether proper security protocols were followed.

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