St. Paul Public Schools notifies families of data breach from February

KSTP reports:

St. Paul Public Schools notified families and staff last week of a “data security incident” last winter that may have exposed students’ names and email addresses.

In a letter sent out on Friday, the district said it became aware of the issue in February and flagged the FBI, Minnesota IT Services and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety to investigate “an unauthorized third party” that had accessed district data.

The full scope of the breach wasn’t made clear until mid-July, but SPPS says it has identified everyone whose data might have been accessed. At this point, the district says it “has no reason to believe” there was any fraudulent use of anyone’s personal information.

Read more at KSTP.

But “might have been accessed”?? Oh come on, people, the data were leaked back in February.  Please rewind to this post on DataBreaches from February 2023 where we reported that someone was leaking those data, but the data appeared to be directory info that wouldn’t have required any hacking to obtain. It now appears that the incident resulting in the leak is the same incident now being disclosed by St. Paul’s Public Schools.

And as an added note to this, the young person who leaked the data and claimed responsibility for it — a user known as “Mud” announced on August 1 that he would be offline for a few months. He had apparently been caught and was either going to a juvenile detention center or would be at home but offline and with no internet access for a few months. The following is a listing of Mud’s threads on BreachForums, but Mud had also been active on previous incarnations of the forum, describing himself as a doxxer and a troller.

Threads posted by user “Mud” included data leaks from Shenendehowa Central School District Directory, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Directory, Saint Paul Public Schools Directory, and Long Beach Unified School District Directory. Image:

On re-check today, Mud’s original listing for SPPS no longer appeared on the forum. It had been updated in June, and then deleted on July 31, but as a forum user noted, the July text could still be retrieved by clicking on “reply” to the empty post. Given the timing, Mud may have tried to delete the SPPS post before going offline. His other school district leak posts were not deleted.

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