MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Puget Sound Educational District hit with data breach

Jan 15, 2021, 5:08 AM | Updated: 10:17 am

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(File, Associated Press)

(File, Associated Press)

A local educational agency says it was hit with a data breach that could have exposed personal information from teachers and students.

The Puget Sound Educational Service District, which helps support public, private, and charter schools in King and Pierce Counties, as well as Bainbridge Island, said unauthorized people accessed an unknown number of staff and student emails on more than one occasion between last spring and summer.

Those emails included sensitive data such as names, birthdates, social security numbers, bank account information, and medical records.

“We are conducting an extensive review of all those messages and documents,” said Jessica DeBarro, executive director of communications, government, and public relations for the district.

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The district could not tell KIRO Radio who accessed the information, or exactly what was obtained, if anything. The answers to those questions are all under investigation.

“It’s certainly a serious incident,” DeBarro said. “The good news is, we have no evidence so far that this information was misused.”

They are not sure how the hackers were able to get in, but they will be putting into place any security measures that the investigation concludes are necessary.

To be on the safe side, the district is contacting those whose information may have been exposed in the data breach.

If you think you were one of those people and have not been notified, you can call the district’s special assistance line at 1-800-223-0837.

“We have a dedicated assistance line, which people can call and get more information,” DeBarro said. “We also have put out information on how to put security freezes on one’s credit.”

For more information, visit the district’s site here.

The Puget Sound Educational Service District is one of nine such districts in the state. The Legislature created these regional agencies to help schools deliver special services, save money, and improve the quality of education delivered.

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