The U.S. Navy is launching a probe to determine how the names and social security numbers of 100,000 Navy and Marine Corps aviators and air crew wound up on a public Web site for six months.
While the information had been on the site since December, it was not discovered until Thursday.
The information had also been mailed out to Navy and Marine Corps commands on 1,083 program disks as part of a naval safety program.
The Navy believes that the data include Navy and Marine Corps personnel who have served within the last 20 years.
Rear Adm. George Mayer, commander of the Naval Safety Center, ordered the information removed from the Web site and the program disks recalled Thursday. The Naval Safety Center web site is down as of Friday evening.
Safety center spokeswoman Evelyn Odango said the problem appeared to be an errant file.
“The information was inadvertently included in a file that was then posted on the Web,” she said. “We found out about it through a Web site user and it was removed immediately.” — Reuters
The Navy is working to notify affected personnel of the data breach, and said that servicemembers who believe they may have been affected can contact the Navy Personnel Command at 1-866-U-ASK-NPC (1-866-827-5672).
The Safety Center said it did not believe that any of the data had been used illegally, but urged servicemembers to watch their credit reports carefully to protect against any possible fraudulent use of their data.
In June, personal information for 28,000 Navy personnel and family members from a Navy source was found on a civilian Web site accessible to the public.