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Cyber criminals accessed the identifying information of about 10,000 people last year through the email accounts of 12 Brevard County School Board employees, a school district spokesperson said Friday.
The School Board became aware of strange activity in its systems on Oct. 31, 2020, and on Jan. 4 determined that someone had accessed 12 staff email accounts without authorization. On March 24, the School Board completed its review of the incident and identified individuals whose information had been accessed.
A letter from the board dated May 4 was sent to thousands of people potentially impacted by the data breach explaining the chain of events.
Brevard County School District Spokesperson Russell Bruhn said the email accounts contained information from students and adults, including some social security numbers. It’s not clear whether whoever accessed the accounts found that information, he added.
“There’s no reason to believe that if you got this letter, that information is out there on the dark web,” Bruhn said. “As an abundance of caution, we informed anyone whose information could have been accessed.”
Each letter stated that the School Board had no direct knowledge that the identifying information was misused.
The School Board used third party cyber security experts to investigate the breach and review the security of its systems, according to the letter.
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“As part of (the School Board’s) ongoing commitment to the security of information, all policies and procedures are being reviewed and enhanced and additional workforce training is being conducted to reduce the likelihood of a similar future event,” the letter stated.
The letter offered each person access to identity theft protection services through Experian at no cost. It also provided instructions on monitoring credit reports and reporting fraud.
Bailey Gallion is the education reporter for FLORIDA TODAY. Contact Gallion at 321-242-3786 or [email protected]
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