Estimated personal information of an estimated 46,000 veterans was compromised as a result of a data breach at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, officials revealed this week.
The VA Financial Services Center, or FSC, said Monday it will notify veterans ‘or veterans’ next-of-kin if their information is at risk after “unauthorized users” hacked into one of its online applications “to redirect payments to the community. health care providers for the medical treatment of veterans, ”according to a press release.
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Hackers are believed to have “gained access to the application to change financial information and redirect payments from VA using social technology techniques and exploit approval protocols,”
Access to the system is suspended until VA’s Office of Information Technology can conduct a comprehensive review.
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In the meantime, anyone whose information is believed to be exposed will receive a letter by mail in the coming days.
“In order to protect these veterans, the FSC warns the persons concerned, including the relatives of the deceased, of the potential risk to their personal information. The department also offers access to credit monitoring services at no cost to those whose social security numbers may be compromised, ”the department wrote.
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Veterans or their next of kin who have further questions after receiving such letters may contact FSC Customer Support by sending an email to VAFSCVeteransSupport@va.gov or writing to VA FSC Help Desk, Attn: Customer Engagement Center, .PO Box 149971, Austin, TX 78714-9971.