Floridians Social Security Numbers Breached For Two Weeks

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By: Matt Horn

Nearly 50,000 Florida college students personal information was compromised because of an unsecured website at Florida State University. According to the Department of Edcuation, the information was left unsecure for 14 days.

A breach in a state database has exposed tens of thousands of Florida college student’s personal information.

“It kind of makes you wonder whether or not all of our students are protected,” said FSU Senior, Amanda Chown.

The information which includes social security numbers and home addresses was exposed in late May. The breach occurred after Florida State University’s Center for Interactive Media moved the student information to a new server. After the move, measures to restrict who was allowed to view the site weren’t put in place. “When FSU was moving from one server to the other, the security guys there didn’t shut the door on the second go around,” said Florida Department of Education’s Joe Follick.

FSU was hired by the State DOE to secure the information. “We take the protection of information very seriously. We’ve worked very closely with DOE,” said FSU VP for University Relations, Liz Maryanski.

The students affected are preparing to become teachers. “We have no indication at this point that any of the data has been misused,” said Maryanski.

Over the two week time span, the unsecured information was viewed 23 times through Google . It’s unknown how many had unauthorized access. “We want to be extra-extra cautious though and make sure that people have confidence in this. So we’ll be notifying everyone personally,” said Follick.

So far there is no indication the information is being used illegally.

Associated Press Release

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida's education commissioner has ordered a review of data security procedures after personal information for thousands of teachers-in-training was exposed on the Internet.

According to a statement from the Department of Education, personal information from roughly 47,000 participants in a teacher preparation program was publicly accessible for two weeks, starting in late May.

Officials said Saturday that the breach occurred during a data transfer between servers at Florida State University's Florida Center for Interactive Media. Unauthorized people may have accessed the data, but the department says there's no indication it was used inappropriately.

FSU officials say they are working with the department to notify affected participants.

Education Commissioner Tony Bennett says all confidential information is being moved onto servers "directly monitored and secured by the department."

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