Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hackers heist 300,000 records from Florida college

A massive security breach at Northwest Florida State College has affected 300,000 records in the school's computer systems, including information on about 200,000 students statewide who were once eligible for Bright Futures scholarships, the school said Wednesday.

The compromised information contained the names and Social Security and bank routing numbers of students, teachers, staff and retirees.

Hackers also stole 200,000 records of people who may never have attended or set foot on the Niceville campus in Okaloosa County. The names, Social Security numbers and dates of birth for students statewide who were Bright Futures scholarship candidates in 2005-06 and 2006-07 also were taken, the school said.

The Bright Futures program grants scholarships to public colleges and universities in the state based on academic merit.

Among the other files taken by the hackers: some 76,000 student records containing personal information and more than 3,000 employee records, including some that contained confidential financial information. Among the employees, about 50 have reported having their identity stolen or funds taken from bank accounts used for direct deposit.

The breach occurred sometime between late May and late September. The school notified the public on Monday. It was discovered during an internal review from Oct. 1 through Oct. 5.

The school's president, Ty Handy, was among the employees victimized, the school said.

"We know that from May 21, 2012, until Sept. 24, 2012, one or more hackers accessed one folder on our main server. This folder had multiple files on it. No one file had a complete set of personal information regarding individuals," Handy said in a statement. "However, by working between files, the hacker(s) have been able to piece together enough information to be able to engage in identity theft for at least 50 employees."

Handy said officials believe the breach was a coordinated attack by one or a group of hackers. After pulling together information from separate files, the hackers have already taken out personal loans that debit bank accounts through PayDayMax, Inc. and Discount Advance Loans. They have also applied for and used Home Depot credit cards.

Florida College System chancellor Randy Hanna said that local, state and federal agencies are investigating the security breach at the school, which has 16,931 students.

The college has set up a website, www.nwfsc.edu/security, to help the affected students and employees. The site allows users to file a complaint with the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office if an identity has been stolen. It includes links to the Federal Trade Commission as well as contacts at the college for students dealing with identity theft.

The school does not expect another breach, Handy said.

"The integrity of the NWFSC system has been restored and there is no indication of any additional instances of compromise of personal information," the release said.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Hackers heist 300,000 records from Florida college 10/10/12 [Last modified: Thursday, October 11, 2012 8:53am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 24-year-old man charged with murder in shooting at Andrea Cove Motel

    LARGO — Pinellas sheriff's officers arrested a 24-year-old transient man Saturday in connection with a homicide at the Andrea Cove Motel in unincorporated Largo.

  2. Photo gallery: Calvary Christian rolls to state title

    Blogs

    View a gallery of images from Calvary Christian's defeat of Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers for the Class 4A title.

    Calvary Christian players circle up on the field before the FHSAA class 4A baseball championship against Pensacola Catholic on Friday May 27, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Calvary scored 6 runs in the first inning, and had 7 hits.
  3. Two girls found safe after being reported missing in New Port Richey

    UPDATE: Both girls were found safe Saturday night, police said.

  4. IT failure blamed for British Airways cancellations (w/video)

    Airlines

    LONDON — British Airways canceled all flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports on Saturday as a global IT failure upended the travel plans of tens of thousands of people on a busy U.K. holiday weekend.

    Passengers wait at a British Airways check-in desk after the airport suffered an IT systems failure Saturday at London''s Gatwick Airport. [Associated Press]
  5. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Catholic to win state baseball title

    Baseballpreps

    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a 30-0 season. …

    Matheu Nelson celebrates after scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning, when Calvary Christian took a 6-0 lead.