China Has Repeatedly Hacked Veterans Affairs Databases Since 2010, Lawmaker Says

Bob Brewin | Nextgov | June 4, 2013

Since 2010, foreign actors have repeatedly compromised an unencrypted database maintained by the Veterans Affairs Department that contains personally identifiable information on roughly 20 million veterans, a House lawmaker said Tuesday.

Speaking at a House Veterans Affairs Committee hearing, Rep. Michael Coffman, R-Colo., said China and possibly Russia are responsible for the hacking.

Coffman, chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, said VA networks and computers have presented “an unacceptable risk for at least three years as sophisticated actors use weaknesses in VA’s security posture to exploit the system and remove veterans’ information and system passwords.”

“While VA knew foreign intruders had been in the network, the Department was never sure what exactly these foreign actors took, because the outgoing data was encrypted by the trespassers,” Coffman said.