According to Army Times' Joe Gould, an employee of defense contractor Brightline Interactive published a database online that contained personal data on 518 military award recipients, including Medal of Honor (MoH) recipients.

"The exposed database contains 31 Social Security numbers for six MoH recipients -- including former Staff Sgt. Sal Giunta and Sgt. First Class Leroy Petry and four posthumous recipients -- and 25 Distinguished Service Cross recipients since Sept. 11, 2001," Gould writes. "'That super sucks,' Giunta said when notified by Army Times. 'It’s like an attack on America.'"

"Erik Muendel, chief executive officer of Brightline Interactive, an Alexandria, Va., company that has compiled information on medal recipients for the Pentagon, said he is unsure as to how the information, which included the Social Security numbers, along with names, ranks, units and brief narratives of battlefield heroics in Iraq and Afghanistan, was put online," UPI reports. "He said the company was supposed to receive only unclassified information."

"The information was removed Friday after the Pentagon learned of the breach through the efforts of Doug Sterner of Alexandria, Va., a Bronze Star winner who has spent 14 years researching medals. ... Sterner said the Social Security numbers appeared to have been available for some time," writes The Los Angeles Times' David Zucchino. "He said soldiers whose Social Security numbers were published ranged in rank from colonel to private. No Social Security numbers were published for Silver Star winners."