Park Hill alerts of security breach

Personal information of thousands briefly posted online

The Park Hill School District announced early this week a security breach that could jeopardize the private information of more than 10,000 district employees and students. In a statement released July 8, the district announced that just before leaving the district, a former employee downloaded all files from a work computer onto a hard drive without consent. When the hard drive connected to a home network, all the files became accessible from the Internet for a period of time. “Unfortunately, this meant it was possible to find the files through a Google search or other sites that logged the IP address,” the release stated. “We know that at least one person accessed the hard drive and left the former employee a message warning that the information was available online, but we cannot tell whether that person or anyone else took any information.” Sensitive information, including Social Security numbers, personnel records and student records were involved in this breach. The documents contained sensitive information for 10,210 current and former employees and students. Nearly 7,000 of those affected were students. The district learned of the breach on April 1, when a local resident reported finding sensitive information online. “Our first priority was ending the potential security incident,” the release stated. “We immediately worked to identify how this information became available, and when we discovered the source, we worked with the FBI and assisted the former employee with removing the documents from the Internet. We also worked with Google to get the information removed.”

Read the whole story in this week's issue of The Citizen.