Defense Department to better secure service members’ site

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The Department of Defense has agreed to better protect personal information stored in a database used by banks and others to confirm a service member’s military status.

The changes are part of a settlement finalized Thursday in federal court in Buffalo, New York.

The Vietnam Veterans of America sued in 2017 after one of its members was targeted by scammers who accessed details about him through the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act site. The database is meant to let businesses verify someone’s eligibility for military benefits and protections during deployments.

But the association says in the lawsuit that scammers instead used the site’s easily accessible information to win the victim’s trust before taking over his computer.

The DOD will implement new monitoring analytics and require users to register with the site.

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