Albuquerque Journal

Data breach hit Dallas school system

Students, parents, staff, teachers were affected


DALLAS — A data breach at the Dallas public school system earlier this month exposed the personal informatio­n of students, parents, teachers and staff dating to 2010, system officials revealed Thursday.

In statements posted to its website Thursday, the Dallas Independen­t School District said it learned of the breach on Aug. 8. Since then, the district says it has been investigat­ing and working to contain the exposure before making it public.

According to the website statements, an unauthoriz­ed third party downloaded the data and stored it temporaril­y on an encrypted cloud storage site. Social Security numbers, birth dates, contact informatio­n and grades were among the data exposed.

The district said it had not received any reports of fraud or identity theft due to the data breach. It planned to open a hotline Friday to answer questions from those affected and help them set up credit monitoring.

The district is the second-largest in Texas, ranking behind only the Houston Independen­t School District. The Dallas district employs 22,222 staff members and enrolled 153,861 students in 230 schools, according to its website.

The breach was the latest informatio­n technology breakdown reported by a Dallas government­al entity. Dallas County prosecutor­s learned recently that a city informatio­n technician inadverten­tly deleted 22 terabytes of crime data.

Technician­s recovered 14 terabytes. At first, that left officials with about 7.5 terabytes likely lost forever. However, an audit found an additional 15 terabytes of police data missing.

According to a police department statement, the lost data included images, video, audio, case notes and other informatio­n gathered by police officers and detectives. A city IT employee was migrating the files, which had not been accessed for the previous six to 18 months, from an online, cloud-based archive to a server at the city’s data center. The city ultimately fired the employee.

At least one murder trial has been postponed and the suspect released on bond because of lost data.

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