Personal info of almost 100,000 people exposed through flaw on site for student transcripts
Ashkan Soltani, Julie Tate and Ellen Nakashima report:
The personal information of almost 100,000 people seeking their high school transcripts was recently exposed on a Web site that helps students obtain their records.
The site, NeedMyTranscript.com, facilitates requests from all 50 states and covers more than 18,000 high schools around the country, according to its Web site and company chief executive officer.
The data included names, addresses, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, mothers’ maiden names and the last four digits of the users’ Social Security numbers. Although there is no evidence the data were stolen, privacy advocates say the availability of such basic personal information heightens the risk of identity theft.
Read more on Washington Post.
To make matters worse, the site did not discover the unsecured directory on their own, and originally disputed the notification by WaPo. From WaPo’s report, it sounds like the data were exposed for almost two years – the life of the site.
Not only is there no notification of the breach on the web site were you to go there right now, but here’s what the About page says:
This is a secure online service that is being made available to you by NeedMyTranscript.com, a Charlotte, NC based company that specializes in secure document management for the Education marketplace. Our online service automates the process of requesting student records and authorizing the High School or District to release those records to agencies, educational insitutions, employers or persons that you specify.
Our primary goal is to make the process of requesting a student record easy, secure and protective of student’s privacy rights. We have received and serviced requests from all 50 states, covering more than 18,000 individual high schools. Fast, Secure, Private. Let yours be the next one!
You are not required to use this service. If you prefer to contact the high school or district directly to request your transcript, please do not complete our online form.
For more information about Student Privacy, click here: FERPA
Please read our Terms of Service and Refund Policy before placing your order: Terms of Service
How many times did they say “secure?” Four? Uh huh….