Hackers steal thousands of student records from computers at Florida college

The hack at the Northwest Florida State College is believed to be a job by professional outside hackers

An information breach at a Florida college has compromised information of about 279,000 students and employees, the Florida Department of Education said on Wednesday.

In a statement earlier on Monday, Northwest Florida State College in Niceville said a breach in the security of the college's computer systems had compromised the personal information of some 3,200 current and retired college employees.

The employee data was breached between May 21 to Sept. 24 by outsiders, and the personal information of employees that was compromised included name, birth date, employee direct deposit bank routing and account number information, and Social Security number, the college said.

But by Wednesday, the college reported that it found on further investigation that the incident involved more than 3,000 employee records, some of which contain confidential financial information, about 76,000 Northwest College student records containing personal identification information, and another 200,000 records with information including names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, ethnicity, and gender for students across the state who were eligible for Bright Futures scholarships for the 2005-06 and 2006-07 school years.

Local, state and federal agencies are investigating the incident, the department of education said.

"While some of the contact information is dated, we will be trying to reach every student whose records may have been captured," said Florida College System Chancellor Randy Hanna in a statement.

At least 50 employees were hit by identity thefts as a result of the breach, college president Ty Handy said in a memo to employees on Monday. Hackers accessed one folder with multiple files on the main server, and were able to piece together the information required for the identity theft by working between files, although no one file had a complete set of personal information regarding individuals, he said.

"We speculate this was a professional, coordinated attack by one or more hackers," Handy added. The college is part of Florida's system of 28 public state and community colleges.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?