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San Diego Unified School District Data Breach Affects More Than 500K

The San Diego Unified School District Board of Education building is shown in...

Photo by Milan Kovacevic

Above: The San Diego Unified School District Board of Education building is shown in this photo, Sept. 15, 2017.

San Diego Unified School District students and faculty may have had their personal data breached between January 2018 and Nov. 1, 2018, the district announced Friday.

District officials discovered the breach in October after investigating reports of phishing emails throughout the district. According to the district, the data breach gave access to the district's student database, which includes personal information such as addresses, phone numbers, Social Security numbers, staff benefits information and staff payroll details.

"Once aware of the threat to student and staff data, we promptly took steps to secure the system and identify the scope of the incident with the help of law enforcement," the district said in a letter to students' families. "We have continued to implement and explore additional security measures, and continue to review and audit our practices to prevent this from happening again."

According to the district, more than 500,000 people may have had their data accessed and stolen dating as far back to the 2008-2009 school year.

At least 50 district employees also had their data compromised in the breach. The district is in the process of contacting the affected parties to notify them that their information was accessed.

San Diego Unified Police and the district's information technology staff advise the district's students, parents, faculty and staff to review their credit information and stay on alert for possible fraud.

Residents who believe they may be the victim of fraud due to the breach can contact the San Diego Unified Police Department at (619) 291-7678.

Affected parties also can file fraud claims and receive credit report information with any of the three major credit reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

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