BCPS takes responsibility for data breach that affected teachers – WBAL TV Baltimore

bcps-takes-responsibility-for-data-breach-that-affected-teachers-–-wbal-tv-baltimore

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More than 2,500 of Baltimore County Public School system employees have had their personal information compromised and the district said it's their fault.It follows a number of technology issues the school system has been dealing with since November. School officials said they learned about the technology failure in January, but letters to those who may have been affected didn't go out until April 9, almost three months later."There was a list that was placed in a secure spot on our website and essentially a month later, we discovered that it not as secure as we thought that it would be," said Charles Herndon, of Baltimore County Public Schools.That list was published on Dec. 16, 2020. The data breach was discovered by the district on Jan. 15 and removed the same day from the school system website. On April 9, the chief administrative and operations officer sent a letter to employees whose names appeared on the website and said: "We've determined the list contained some of your personal information, including your name and Social Security number." That news traveled fast among county teachers."I don't know how many of our members were affected, only the people who were affected are getting the letters, so as I get emails from them I am getting a better idea of how many," said Cindy Sexton, president of the Teachers Association of Baltimore County.The school system said its internal investigation delayed the notifications."There were a number of things we had to do to make sure that the data had not been compromised in terms of other people seeing it or using it or misusing it. Up to now, we have no indication or evidence that data has been misused," Herndon said.In that same letter to school employees, the district said, "We are also taking steps to reduce the risk of this type of incident from occurring in the future, including enhancing our technical security measures."But that appears to be doing little to calm the fears of those most affected."It's extremely concerning. We're being told that it's not due to the ransomware, it's a different issue entirely but still, we have members who now have to worry about this on top of all of all the other things that have happened," Sexton said.School employees have been offered a one-year free membership to a credit monitoring service.The teacher's union along with other district employee groups say they'll continue to press the school system for more specific answers.

TOWSON, Md. —

More than 2,500 of Baltimore County Public School system employees have had their personal information compromised and the district said it's their fault.

It follows a number of technology issues the school system has been dealing with since November.

School officials said they learned about the technology failure in January, but letters to those who may have been affected didn't go out until April 9, almost three months later.

"There was a list that was placed in a secure spot on our website and essentially a month later, we discovered that it not as secure as we thought that it would be," said Charles Herndon, of Baltimore County Public Schools.

That list was published on Dec. 16, 2020. The data breach was discovered by the district on Jan. 15 and removed the same day from the school system website.

On April 9, the chief administrative and operations officer sent a letter to employees whose names appeared on the website and said: "We've determined the list contained some of your personal information, including your name and Social Security number."

That news traveled fast among county teachers.

"I don't know how many of our members were affected, only the people who were affected are getting the letters, so as I get emails from them I am getting a better idea of how many," said Cindy Sexton, president of the Teachers Association of Baltimore County.

The school system said its internal investigation delayed the notifications.

"There were a number of things we had to do to make sure that the data had not been compromised in terms of other people seeing it or using it or misusing it. Up to now, we have no indication or evidence that data has been misused," Herndon said.

In that same letter to school employees, the district said, "We are also taking steps to reduce the risk of this type of incident from occurring in the future, including enhancing our technical security measures."

But that appears to be doing little to calm the fears of those most affected.

"It's extremely concerning. We're being told that it's not due to the ransomware, it's a different issue entirely but still, we have members who now have to worry about this on top of all of all the other things that have happened," Sexton said.

School employees have been offered a one-year free membership to a credit monitoring service.

The teacher's union along with other district employee groups say they'll continue to press the school system for more specific answers.

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