VA Data Breach Compromises Veteran’s Private Information While Using Facebook

Some things are far too close to home to be chalked up to coincidence. This is not a conspiracy theory. What I am about to describe happened and this article contains information that suggests—as we all suspect—Facebook may be in bed with federal authorities.

Disabled veteran, Lauren Price, Retired USN YN1, is the Public Affairs representative for a veteran’s advocacy group named “Veteran Warriors.” As an outspoken critic of the VA, Price is not unfamiliar with VA retaliation. However, what Price experienced yesterday, while helping a fellow veteran navigate the government eBenefits website, should raise the hair on every American’s neck.

Tracy Cooper, Retired Air Force (21 Yrs. 5 months), a veteran of Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan, recently reached out to Lauren Price—known for her expertise and knowledge of VA claims processing—for help pursuing a GI bill application. Sometimes the government eBenefits system can be troublesome for many veterans and Lauren is always available to help those in need.

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Since Mr. Cooper does not have access to a phone, all communication between Price and Cooper took place using Facebook private messaging. Their conversation can be found here.

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In summary, Cooper (using the Google Chrome browser) received instructions from Price (using Internet Explorer 8) via Facebook private messaging on how to access and login to his personal eBenefits account. According to Price, at no time did Price send Cooper a URL link for eBenefits or any information from her computer other than the Facebook messages documented above. However, when Cooper attempted to log in to his private eBenefits account—using his unique user name and password—Price’s personal eBenefits account, not Coopers, was revealed on Coopers computer display.

Both veterans were immediately alarmed.

Further, Facebook private message communication between Price and Cooper would reveal this was not some innocuous computer glitch. In fact, Cooper, who signed in using his personal user name and password, was somehow given unauthorized and unexplainable access to Veteran Warrior Lauren Price’s eBenefits account.

Three things bear mentioning.

For the past 5 months, Lauren Price has been battling with Facebook over imposed restrictions to her Facebook account that to this day remain unexplained by Facebook. During her private messaging with Cooper, Price was looking at her personal eBenefits account as a reference —accessed from a computer located in a different state, using a different browser from a recognized IP address, while instructing Cooper on the proper use of eBenefits. According to both Price and Cooper, at no time was Cooper given Price’s username or password.

Price immediately instructed Cooper to perform a screen print, save the information and to send it via email to Price. The screen print of Price’s eBenefits account—saved from Cooper’s computer, sent via email— is available here.

Cooper was then instructed by Price to log out and log back again using the same user name and password, his user name and password. On this attempt Cooper’s account information—not Price’s— would be displayed.

How could this happen? How could Tracy Cooper’s computer inadvertently access—using his unique eBenefits account information and password from his home state— another veteran’s eBenefits account from an unfamiliar browser and IP address without the proper username and password?

Mind you this was not just any veteran’s account. This was the account of an outspoken VA critic and advocate for VA overhaul. The same veteran who has experienced what appears to be a pattern of alleged VA retaliation. I have documented this retaliation in a prior article found here. The same veteran, Lauren Price, who just so happened to be engaged in a Facebook private message conversation with the individual, had her private eBenefits account information accessed by someone else through an unexplained security breach.

It would appear that someone, or something, has the ability to monitor specific individual’s private Facebook communications while also controlling access to a private citizens secure government eBenefits account.

I will be sending this article to Facebook for investigation and response.

How is that “illusion of security” working for you now America?

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