HOPE YEN Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON The government has recovered the stolen laptop computer and hard drive with sensitive data on up to 26.5 million veterans and military personnel. The FBI said today there is no evidence that anyone accessed Social Security numbers and other data on the equipment. Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson, in announcing the recovery of the computer, said there have been no reports of identity theft stemming from the May 3 burglary at a VA employee’s Maryland home. The FBI, in a statement from its Baltimore field office, said a preliminary review of the equipment by its computer forensic teams “has determined that the data base remains intact and has not been accessed since it was stolen.” More tests were planned, however. Nicholson said the laptop and hard drive were turned in to the FBI. No suspects were in custody. “This has brought to the light of day some real deficiencies in the manner we handled personal data,” Nicholson said. “If there’s a redeeming part of this, I think we can turn this around,” he said.