US Navy Waits Till Thanksgiving Eve to Disclose Hack of 130,000 Sailors

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On Oct. 27 of this year, a contractor told the US Navy that one of its employee’s laptops was “compromised,” resulting in the theft of personal data, including social security numbers, for more than 130,000 sailors, according to the Navy.

The Navy, however, didn’t disclose this serious data breach for almost a month, until 5pm ET on Thanksgiving eve, when a large portion of Americans would be stuck in a car or on an airplane on their way to visit their families.

“The Navy takes this incident extremely seriously- this is a matter of trust for our Sailors,” Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Admiral Robert Burke said in the Navy’s press release. “We are in the early stages of investigating and are working quickly to identify and take care of those affected by this breach.”


It’s pretty bad to lose the personal information of 134,386 current and former sailors and service members, but letting them—and the rest of the world—know this happened the night before Thanksgiving, in what could easily be construed as an attempt to bury the bad news, certainly doesn’t make the Navy look good.

The Navy could not be reached for comment, so it’s not clear whether the victims found out about this earlier.

“For those affected by this incident, the Navy is working to provide further details on what happened, and is reviewing credit monitoring service options for affected Sailors,” the Navy wrote in its press release, hinting that, perhaps, victims still don’t know.

Still, there’s an argument to be made that Navy should have been more upfront about this sooner, enabling those affected to lock down their accounts and change their passwords in a more expedient fashion. We’re still waiting to find out why they didn’t do this, and what other information may have been compromised in the hacks.