Education

Hackers stole info on Florida teachers and students 2 years ago. They just found out.

Daniel Fernandez, a 10th grader in the Florida Virtual School, Hackers stole personal data from more than 350,000 students, parents and teachers from Florida Virtual School.
Daniel Fernandez, a 10th grader in the Florida Virtual School, Hackers stole personal data from more than 350,000 students, parents and teachers from Florida Virtual School. MIAMI HERALD file photo

Hackers stole the personal information of more than 350,000 Florida Virtual School students, parents and teachers two years ago, the company announced Friday evening.

The stolen information includes students’ names, birth dates, school account user names and passwords, parents’ names and email addresses. More than 1,800 Leon County school teachers also had extra information stolen, including their Social Security numbers, addresses, phone numbers and “certain demographic information.”

Florida Virtual School spokesperson James Fuller said the private cybersecurity firm hired to investigate the data breach found that no financial information was stolen. There’s an open investigation with the FBI and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

“Hopefully we can bring these criminals to justice,” Fuller said.

IT staffers discovered the breach on Feb. 12 when a cybercriminal posted on a common hacking site bragging that they had acquired the information two years ago, he said.

The cybersecurity firm Florida Virtual School hired found that hackers got all the data from a single sever accidentally left open, Fuller said. The company has added additional protocols to make sure it doesn’t happen again. As far as the experts have seen, he said, nothing malicious has been done with the information so far.

The company broke the news Friday evening and offered all affected clients a free year of identity protection services through Experian. It’s available to students whose information was in the company’s databases from May 2, 2016 to Feb. 12, 2016

Qualifying students or their parents can sign up for identity protection services at www.experianidworks.com/FLVS or by calling (888) 829-6553. Students should reference engagement number DB05741.

“FLVS takes its obligation to protect the privacy of personal information very seriously and deeply regrets this incident,” the company wrote in a statement.

  Comments