As NBC reports, one school district had an Excel sheet called “Basic Student Information” that was posted to the dark web after refusing to pay the ransom, as instructed by the FBI. The list contained important information about the children such as name, address, date of birth, caste, social security number and gender, as well as whether they were an immigrant, homeless, financially disadvantaged.
School cleaning – we were unaware of the problem
The school was aware of the attacks and informed the parents about it, which made things a little better. Insurance covered identity theft protection for employees, but it’s not clear whether these benefits are passed on to students, regardless of the lawyers involved. Reportedly, other schools asked about the leaks said they were “ignorant of the problem”.
Information you can use for credit cards and car loans
While it’s difficult to understand how a student’s social life would be affected if their “grades, medical information, or status of free or reduced-cost lunch benefits” were leaked online, social security numbers (SSNs) could include birthdays, names, etc. It’s easy to understand the implications of being sold to “dishonest people”. The NBC report tells the story of a student whose information was used in an attempt to obtain a credit card and car loan.
Experts advising to freeze credit
The report cites Eva Velasquez of the Identity Theft Resource Center, who is asking parents to freeze their credit to keep their children safe from identity theft. As The Verge has rightly pointed out, parents already have enough problems and concerns and now data security and privacy is apparently a new concern.
Schools collect data to care for children
“It’s a serious responsibility that schools have to take care of kids, so they collect a lot of data with it,” a nonprofit expert on protecting school IT systems told NBC.
Ransomware attack on 1,200+ schools this year
Many schools (reports say 1,200 schools were published by ransomware attackers this year) are grappling with the task of keeping data secure and it’s easy to say because most schools operate with budgets that “corporate” Don’t allow the level of security attackers are bypassing everyday.”