Oregon District Network Hit by Hackers
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Employees and vendors are on alert since a district in Oregon reported that its network may have been breached by hackers. Eugene School District in Oregon recently communicated with current and former members of its staff whose personal information may have been accessed from the district network in a hacker attack. According to a letter sent to staff and vendors and duplicated on a regional news site, the district's staff recently noticed unusual activity on a department's server and immediately shut down the server as a precaution. Initial analysis indicated that the activity was "likely an attempt to strike at an outside server, using 4J's server for what is known as a denial of service attack, the letter stated.
The server that was shut down was storing a list of 4J employee names, home phone numbers, and district employee identification numbers. However, because it was connected to other servers that contained more personal information, including addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, and bank account information for direct deposits, the district chose to go public with the breach. As it wrote in the letter to employees, "While there are safeguards protecting these servers and we have no indications that they were accessed, we cannot at this time rule out the possibility that they may have been compromised."
The network servers also maintained information on about 13,000 vendors.
The district is still investigating the breach and working with local police. It has also has taken measures to "further safeguard the involved server," according to the letter. "We are continuing to assess our information security systems to make certain that we have all appropriate measures in place to ensure your personal information is secure."
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.