Confidential records of nearly 300,000 students and staff were stolen at Northwest Florida State College in Niceville near Eglin Air Force base.
Florida’s Department of Education said the records included names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, ethnicity and gender for any student who was eligible for Florida’s Bright Futures scholarships for the 2005-06 and 2006-07 school years.
The hackers also stole more than 3,000 employee records, including some that contained confidential financial information such as direct deposit account numbers. Some 76,000 records containing personal identification information from current and former students at the college were also hacked.
“We speculate this was a professional, coordinated attack by one or more hackers,” said college President Ty Handy, whose data was also hacked.
“I recognize that this is a significant hassle for those whose information is used to commit identity theft,” stated Handy. “I was one of the first seven or eight to be hit personally and I have spent several hours on the phone working with my bank and others to protect myself. It is not an enjoyable experience and for that I apologize.”
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