A major data breach has been informed by the San Diego School District that has possibly led to the theft of the personal information of over half a million present and former staff and students. The data disclosed as a consequence of the breach date back to the 2008/2009 school year.
The breach was noticed after reports from district staff of a flood of phishing electronic mails. The electronic mails were highly credible and deceived users into visiting a web page where they were required to enter their login identifications. Doing so passed the identifications to the attacker.
The attacker succeeded in compromising over 50 accounts, which permitted access login to the school district’s network which comprised the district database having staff and student information.
A wide variety of confidential information was saved in the database including names, birth dates, deduction information, salary information, savings and flexible spending account details, dependent identity information, tax information, payroll information, legal notices, enrollment information, emergency contact details, Social Security numbers, health data, attendance records, the names of banks, routing numbers, and account numbers for direct deposits.
The break was noticed in October 2018 but was determined to date back January 2018. When a data breach is noticed, the first step that is commonly taken is to shut down access to all undermined accounts. Doing so would obviously forewarn the attacker that the breach has been noticed.
In this situation, the San Diego Unified Police was notified about the breach and the decision was taken to probe the breach before ending access. By taking this measure, the police division was able to identify a person who is supposed to be behind the attack.
All compromised identifications have now been reset and illegal access is no more possible. Additional safety controls have now been applied to avoid similar attacks in the future.
Notices have now been issued to all affected people. Those notices were delayed to allow the police to probe the breach without tipping off the attacker.