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VA veteran’s website may have been breached

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The Veteran’s Administration (VA) eBenefits.va.gov site may have been breached by an unknown source and no one is sure if it was intentional or just a software problem, THV11 reported on Friday.

Navy veteran Sylvester Woodland logged into the website only find out, as he was checking on his bank loan history, that he could see other veterans medical and financial information.

“I was hoping it was just a glitch, but the more I thought about it, I said, wait a minute, this is more than a glitch, this is a breach,” Woodland told THV11.

The Paulding County Republican Examiner, who is a veteran, has been trying to log-in into eBenefits.va.gov website since Thursday and kept getting the message, “The portal is not available now. We are making changes and expect to be ready for your login very soon.”

While numerous veterans are asking VBA on their Facebook page why the eBenefits site is down, Department of Veteran's Affair's Genevieve Billia stated in a release to THV11:

“The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) takes seriously our obligation to properly safeguard personal information. Wednesday evening, during a process to improve software supporting the joint VA and Department of Defense benefits web portal eBenefits, VA discovered a software defect. During that limited timeframe, some Veterans and Servicemembers who had registered and logged into eBenefits were able to see a combination of their own information as well as data from other eBenefits users. VA took immediate action upon discovering the software defect and shut the eBenefits system down in order to limit any problems. VA is conducting a full review to be certain the underlying technological issues have been resolved before the system is returned to operation.

VA's independent Data Breach Core Team (DBCT) is reviewing this issue and believes a relatively limited number of Veterans have been affected. Once the DBCT determines the number of users impacted, their identities and other pertinent facts, VA will take the appropriate response, which may include free credit monitoring for the affected individuals, consistent with VA's standard practice.”

On the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) twitter account, the VA stated that they do not know when the site will be back up and furthermore, no veterans who use the site have been contacted.

Update: On Sunday morning, the eBenefits.va.gov has been restored.

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