UPDATE: Mo. National Guard says personal information may have been compromised

Tuesday, July 15, 2008 | 5:29 p.m. CDT; updated 6:38 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri National Guard says the names, social security numbers and military unit assignments of about 2,000 guardsmen may have been compromised.

A Guard news release Tuesday afternoon said the data was compromised through the theft of computer hardware, and the Columbia Police Department is investigating the incident.

Columbia police Sgt. Ken Hammond confirmed that a National Guard computer was stolen from Columbia.

“I’m not sure what type of computer it was or the type of information it entails,” he said.

The Guard is withholding details pending an investigation. But it insists that there’s little reason to expect the information to be exploited.

Maj. Gen. King Sidwell said in the release that he is still “concerned about the problems and inconvenience this may cause” for guardsmen and their families. The Guard plans to contact all of those affected via letters to be sent out this week.

The Guard says it’s reviewing its information security procedures.

Guardsmen and their family members who have questions about the incident can call 1-888-526-6664 ext. 7888. Deployed soldiers can use the Defense Switching Network at 312-555-9500 ext. 7888. Information on how guardsmen and families can protect their personal and financial information is available on the Guard Web site,

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