- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 14, 2017

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - An external hard drive that was stolen from a government law enforcement vehicle contained personal information on members of Montana’s Crow and Northern Cheyenne Tribes.

Tribal members were notified of the potential data breach in a letter last week from Bureau of Indian Affairs Director Weldon Bruce Loudermilk that was obtained by The Associated Press.

It says the unencrypted hard drive containing names, addresses, birthdates and tribal enrollment information was stolen Dec. 4.

Federal agents later questioned those responsible for the theft and Loudermilk wrote that he was confident the personal information was not accessed.

But officials say tribal members may want to protect themselves by requesting a fraud alert from credit agencies such as Equifax and Experian.

A BIA spokeswoman did not immediately respond to questions.

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