Veterans group to sue DOD for military records exposure

The veterans organization Vietnam Veterans of America is suing the Department of Defense for allegedly exposing private details about troops' military experience due to improper security measures on one of its websites, reports Miami Herald.

The lawsuit alleges the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act website "is currently exposing private details about the military service of millions of veterans to anybody at all, anonymously, for any purpose." Lack of security measures on the site allow unauthorized individuals to access sensitive data on veterans' records by typing in a name and date of birth.

This security issue gives "easy access to information about essentially all veterans or service members in the system" and violates the Federal Privacy Act, according to the lawsuit.

The website is intended to be used by certain authorized organizations, like banks, to confirm active duty status. However, given the security issues, the information has allegedly become  available to con artists and scammers looking to defraud veterans. These scammers have reportedly used these breached service details to gain veterans' trust when impersonating government or other officials.

The lawsuit alleges the DOD has not made any security changes despite being alerted about issues with its website. It suggests the department implement more stringent registration or verifications systems, like those used by the Social Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

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