Reported data breach affects personal info for more than 130,000 Navy sailors

US Navy officers train celestial navigation avoid GPS
Amanda Gray/US Navy
This hasn’t been the happiest of Thanksgivings for some of our nation’s finest.

The latest data breach to make headlines has not compromised credit card information or hospital records, but rather has left the “personal and sensitive information” of 134,386 U.S. sailors exposed. Following a hack affecting the U.S. Navy, social security numbers and names of both current and former members was accessed by “unknown individuals,” officials confirmed late Wednesday evening.

The breach was discovered by Hewlett Packard Enterprise, who told the military branch that a Hewlett- Packard laptop utilized by a contractor was “compromised.” As of yet, no further details have emerged about how the data breach transpired.

“The Navy takes this incident extremely seriously — this is a matter of trust for our sailors,” said Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Admiral Robert Burke. “We are in the early stages of investigating and are working quickly to identify and take care of those affected by this breach.”

The issue was first discovered on October 27 and a formal investigation is now under way.

In a statement, the Navy noted that it would “notify the affected sailors in the coming weeks by multiple means including phone, letter and email.” Officials also noted that those affected by the incident would be provided with further details on what happened as they become available and would also receive credit monitoring service options in the future. “At this stage of the investigation,” the Navy insisted, “There is no evidence to suggest misuse of the information that was compromised.”

This is actually the second major hack of Navy data associated with Hewlett-Packard. In 2013, the company admitted that Iran had made its way into the unclassified Navy and Marine Corps Intranet. This time, the Navy Times reports, “A Navy official familiar with the investigation said the personal data came from the Career Waypoints database, known as C-WAY, which sailors use to submit re-enlistment and Navy Occupational Specialty requests.”

Hewlett-Packard has since issued a statement of its own, noting, “The security and privacy of our clients is a top priority for Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). This event has been reported to the Navy and because this is an ongoing investigation, HPE will not be commenting further out of respect for the privacy of Navy personnel.”

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