Student information hacked in 4J School District computer breach
EUGUENE, Ore. (KMTR) -- This weekend, Eugene School District 4J staff learned that an unknown person had accessed confidential files that contained personal identity information of current students and some former students, including names, addresses and some Social Security numbers. I want you to be aware of the breach and of steps you can take to protect against misuse of your student’s personal information. I realize this news is troubling, and sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and worry this may cause. WHAT HAPPENED AND WHEN? The investigation of how the breach occurred is ongoing, but at this time we suspect that the person used a district computer workstation to access the data without authorization. We believe that the breach occurred last week, but we did not learn of it until the weekend. WHAT WAS EXPOSED? The confidential files that were accessed are used to transfer data between our student information and student meal programs. They included identity information for all or most current 4J students including names, student ID numbers, addresses, dates of birth, and in some cases phone numbers, Social Security numbers, and/or students’ free or reduced-price school lunch status. A file containing similar information from 2007 also was accessed. WHAT WAS NOT EXPOSED? The data did not include any academic or financial information, such as grades, test scores or credit card numbers. WHAT IS 4J DOING? The district has notified police, initiated a thorough investigation of the security breach, and taken measures to further safeguard your student’s personal information. Already we have: • Changed passwords and increased password security • Limited the student personal data shared in the school meal system We are continuing to assess our information security systems to make certain that we have all appropriate measures in place to ensure students’ personal information is secure. WHAT CAN YOU DO? Because an unauthorized person may have obtained your student’s personal information, including his or her Social Security number, we want to bring this issue to your attention and provide specific steps you can take to protect yourself from the possibility of identity theft or other misuse of personal information. The Federal Trade Commission suggests steps you can take to protect your financial accounts, protect against fraud, monitor for fraudulent activity, and report suspected fraud—please see below. I deeply regret the inconvenience and concern this may cause to you. The district is committed to safeguarding the privacy of students’ personal information. To ensure you are fully informed, we have set up a webpage, email and phone line where you can get more information. If you have questions you may visit www.4j.lane.edu/databreach, send email to email@example.com or call 541 790-7737, and someone will respond to your inquiry. The district will be closed on June 14, 15 and 18 for unpaid furlough days; if you leave a message staff will respond when offices reopen. Regards, Sheldon Berman Superintendent ------------------------------------------------------------------------ WHAT TO DO IF YOUR STUDENT'S PERSONAL INFORMATION HAS BEEN COMPROMISED Because your student’s Social Security number and other personal identity information may have been exposed, we encourage you to take steps to monitor and protect your student’s financial accounts. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has provided specific steps people can take to protect themselves from the possibility of identity theft or other misuse of their personal information when there is a possibility that an unauthorized person has obtained their information. PROTECT AGAINST FRAUD: If your student’s Social Security number has been exposed, the FTC recommends that you call one of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies to place a free 90-day fraud alert on your student’s credit reports - you only need to call one of the companies, which will alert the other two companies. This alert can help stop someone from opening new credit accounts in your student’s name. Equifax:111111-800-525-6285 Experian:11111-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742) TransUnion:111-800-680-7289 MONITOR FOR FRAUDULENT ACTIVITY: When you place this alert on your student’s credit report with one nationwide consumer reporting company, you’ll get information about ordering one free credit report from each of the companies. The FTC says it is prudent to wait about a month after your information may have been stolen before you order your report, since suspicious activity may not show up right away. Once you get your reports, review them for suspicious activity, such as inquiries from companies your student did not contact, accounts he or she did not open and account debits that you cannot explain. Check that the information - including your student’s Social Security number, address, name or initials, and employers - is correct. REPORT SUSPECTED FRAUD: Finally, if you find any suspicious activity related to your student’s financial accounts or on his or her credit reports, call your local law enforcement agency immediately. LEARN MORE: For more information about how to prevent identity theft, please see http://www.ftc.gov/idtheft.