NY: Sachem School District has student data leak (update1)

Michael Sorrentino reports:

Leaked student records are allegedly now available on a website that may be the source of Sachem Central School District’s Friday announcement that internal district information has been posted onto a local message board.

The website is the one referred to Patch by resident Stephanie Volpe, who posted screenshots of it Friday morning after discovering it to the Sachem Moms Facebook Page before it went down later in the day. [Note: In a comment under Patch’s previous coverage, Ms. Volpe says she was not the one who posted the screen shot – Dissent]. As of Saturday afternoon, a parent called into Patch reporting that the website is back online, which Patch can confirm.

The website goes under the name of “Sachem Safety” and alleges the district does not use enough security to protect the information from being accessed.

“The extremely minimal security that was in place was defeated in a very trivial manner, and the system administrators were informed of the issue multiple times,” the website claims. “They were unable to fix the issue, as the districts networks utilize mostly free tools and are extremely vulnerable.”

The website also claims that others have been able to easily access the information, which appears to include student welfare and income records, disciplinary records, student health records, student transcripts, suspension records among others. A few of the links claim to allow downloads of this information to a computer.

Suffolk County Police have previously told Patch that incident is under investigation.

Sachem Central School District has issued the following statement Saturday evening in response to the website:

In review of information the Sachem Central School District has been able to obtain, the only information that has been posted regarding active students is in the free and reduced lunch status list from several years ago, and the home teaching report from two years ago, which was posted last evening.

Any other information that had been posted is still being confirmed, but review indicates it to be restricted to two specific years of graduates from Sachem High School East in the 2008 and 2012 class.

Read more on SachemPatch.

Update of November 19: the district has posted this FAQ about the breach. So they first had warning of a security problem in July and investigated, but it sounds like they were more concerned about ensuring that there was no external hack. In light of additional info, it sounds like this might have been an insider breach, but we’ll have to wait for more details to emerge.

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