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Personal data of 130,000 US Navy sailors exposed by compromised laptop

 A data breach has resulted in the sensitive information including the social security numbers of 134,386 current and former US sailors being exposed after a laptop was 'compromised.'

The Navy (opens in new tab) has acknowledged the breach, which occurred on 27 October and was the result of hackers gaining access to the laptop of an employee working for the Navy contractor Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE).

Though there are few details regarding who gained access to the sensitive information, it has been confirmed that an unknown person or group has seen both the names and social security numbers of 134,386 current and former sailors. However as of yet, there has been no evidence that the data has been misused after it was compromised.

Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Admiral Robert Burke offered further details on the data breach, saying: “The Navy takes this incident extremely seriously – this is a matter of trust for our Sailors.  We are in the early stages of investigating and are working quickly to identify and take care of those affected by this breach.”

To warn the sailors affected by the breach, the Navy will be notifying them by phone, email and mail. The organisation is also exploring offering credit monitoring services to those affected.

This is the second time that the Navy has suffered a breach while working with Hewlett-Packard. In 2013, Iran was able to gain access to the unclassified Navy and Marine Corps Intranet as a result of a poorly worded contract that did not require the company to secure unclassified databases.    

Image Credit: Marc Sitkin / Shutterstock

Anthony Spadafora
Anthony Spadafora

After getting his start at ITProPortal and then working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches to how to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.