SAN ANTONIO – The Northside Independent School District has sent letters to about 23,000 former and current students and employees regarding a security breach that might have put their personal information at risk.
NISD spokesman Barry Perez said school district officials first got a hint about the trouble in August when it was discovered that someone hacked into the email accounts of some employees. An internal investigation later revealed that the breach might be more widespread, he said.
"So we secured the services of an outside computer forensic investigator who came in and had to go through hundreds of thousands of emails," Perez said.
The process took months to complete.
Perez said officials confirmed that there had been a larger breach, which “could include names, could certainly include addresses, could certainly include maybe dates of birth.”
So far, there's no evidence that any of the information has been used by hackers, he said. NISD is encouraging people who received the warning letters to remain vigilant.
A handout that accompanied the letters encouraged those who were affected to closely monitor all accounts and statements and report any unusual or fraudulent activity to their financial institutions immediately.
Perez said the school district also has agreed to provide one year’s worth of professional credit monitoring to students and staff, free of charge.
The service will be available through Kroll ID Monitoring Service. To activate accounts, those affected will have to call 1-855-230-2966 and provide a unique membership number that was included in the letter that he or she received.
Perez said the letters were sent only to people whose personal information might have been in jeopardy. However, anyone who believes that he or she was incorrectly omitted from the mailing list can verify it by calling Northside ISD.