Tags Posts tagged with "Data Breach"

Data Breach

Teens accused of altering students' grades, schedules

Daniel Soares mugshot from SCPD

Three students from Commack High School were arrested Tuesday morning and accused of breaking into their school district’s computer system to change two students’ grades and nearly 300 students’ schedules, the Suffolk County Police Department said.

Cops identified the three 17-year-olds as Alex Mosquera of East Northport and Commack natives Daniel Soares and Erick Vaysman, alleging they were behind an unauthorized breach of the Commack Union Free School District’s computer system back in July. They surrendered to detectives on Tuesday around 7:30 a.m. and were scheduled to be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip later in the day, police said.

Attorney information for the three teenagers was not immediately available.

Alexander Mosquera mugshot from SCPD
Alexander Mosquera mugshot from SCPD

Police said they were first notified of the data breach in July, when the Commack school district determined an unauthorized person, or group of people, accessed its network and altered the schedules of nearly 300 students. The district was able to identify the alterations and correct the schedules before students arrived for class in September, the district said. The county police department’s computer crimes section also investigated the breach and found two students’ grades were altered, SCPD said.

The district posted news of the arrest on its website Tuesday morning, but did not identify the students by name.

“We know that the actions of a few students do not reflect on the entire student body,” the Commack Union Free School District said in the statement. “From kindergarten through high school graduation, the district teaches and reinforces the attributes that contribute to good character: courtesy, honesty, attaining pride, responsibility, accountability, compassion, tolerance, endurance and respect. With reinforcement and guidance by their families, our students reflect those values.”

Erick Vaysman mugshot from SCPD
Erick Vaysman mugshot from SCPD

Mosquera was charged with computer trespass and criminal solicitation; Soares was charged with burglary, computer tampering, identity theft, computer trespass and eavesdropping; and Vaysman was charged with computer tampering and criminal solicitation, cops said Tuesday. The arrests came just weeks after the district went public with news of the initial breach, which was posted to its website last month. In response, the district bulked up its data protection protocols by adding security features to student management systems and implementing a 24-hour active monitoring program.

Some of the information that may have been viewed, the district said, included student identification numbers, names, addresses, contact information and schedules. Social security numbers, however, are not in the student management system.

Password protection safeguards and network protocols also prevented any further access to the district’s data management system and kept private and personal information safe, the district said in a statement.
“We believe the initial data breach only involved a very limited number of high school student records,” the district said in a statement. “The district continues to cooperate fully with local law enforcement agencies, and our IT department is working closely with the police to provide digital data to assist law enforcement. In addition, a full electronic security review is underway with a company that specializes in network security.”

by -
0 615

School district says ‘unauthorized person’ compromised vital student records like ID numbers, home addresses

Student data within Commack school district may have been compromised after an unauthorized person accessed records, the district said this week.

A statement posted on the district’s website outlined the potential data breach, calling it a potential release of high school student data, but cautioned that there was no concrete evidence that specific student data was downloaded. The district said the unauthorized party might have gained access to student ID numbers, names, addresses, contact information and schedules, but specified that social security numbers were not in jeopardy.

The district went public with the data breach alert on Sept. 17 and said it was important to make parents aware of the potential release of information, despite any evidence proving specific data was downloaded. As of the time of the initial post, Commack officials said the breach likely only applied to a very limited number of high school student records.

“Upon learning of the breach, the district immediately contacted the Suffolk County Police Department,” the statement said. “The district is working with the police department, and the police have moved forward to identify the person responsible.”

Commack’s tech department also bulked up the district’s data protection protocols by adding additional security features to student management systems, restoring any altered schedules and implementing a 24-hour active monitoring program. The current 24-hour monitoring system also showed no additional unauthorized attempts to access student data at this point, the district said.

In addition to working with the Suffolk County Police Department and conducting an internal security review, the district said it was also in the process of hiring an outside technology company to conduct a full electronic security review of the district’s student management system and networks in an effort to ensure systems are as secure as possible. Any additional updates will be brought to the public’s attention as developments occur, the district said.

“Please be assured that the district takes very seriously the protection of private student data, and actively monitors our networks,” the district said in a statement. “We continue to work to ensure that the district takes the steps necessary to prevent this type of incident in the future.”