Even Pentagon computers systems are vulnerable

Just to show that even the US government can get caught with its pants down on the security front, it seems that an intruder gained access earlier this month to a Department of Defence computer server and compromised confidential health care insurance information for more than 14,000 people.

According to the Associated Press, William Winkenwerder Jr., the assistant US defence secretary for health affairs, has said that the affected individuals have been advised by letter that the compromise of personal information could put them at risk for identity theft.

"Such incidents are reprehensible, and we deeply regret the inconvenience this may cause the people we serve," he said in a press statement.

The Pentagon has apparently established a toll-free telephone number for affected people to call if they have questions.

The US government agency says that the hacked server is for people insured under the Pentagon's Tricare health care system. Unconfirmed reports, meanwhile, suggest that the information accessed by the intruder may have included names, Social Security numbers, credit card numbers and even some personal health information.

The AP newswire says that routine monitoring of one of the health care insurance system's public servers detected unusual activity, and an investigation led to the discovery on April 5 that an intrusion had occurred and information was compromised...