UPDATE (September 3)
Officials say a Pearson data breach reported last week to have hit Homer School District actually affected up to 7,000 current and former students in six area school districts, including Cortland, Homer, Groton, Marathon, McGraw and DeRuyter School Districts.
The CNY Regional Information Center says the breach occurred last November and Pearson officials confirm the information leaked was students’ first and last names, dates of birth and system ID numbers.
To be safe, those affected will be notified and offered free Experian credit monitoring.
ORIGINAL STORY (August 30)
Homer Superintendent Thomas Turck confirmed yesterday (August 29) the district made a list of more than 13,000 schools and universities across the country targeted in a November 2018 data breach that affected software provided by Pearson Education.
Specifically, hackers leaked information from the company’s AIMSWeb 1.0 system, a student assessment platform that monitors student progress in Mathematics and English Language Arts.
Pearson is one of the world’s largest publishers of textbooks and other education materials.
The company notified the CNY Regional Information Center about the breach, which then sent the alert to Homer and other affected districts in the area on Wednesday (August 28).
Officials say the information compromised includes student names, addresses, and dates of birth.
Homer schools stopped using the software in 2017, so the students who were potentially affected would’ve attended school in the years prior.
Superintendent Turck said there’s currently no evidence that any data has been misused.
“Homer is committed to protecting and securing educational data,” Turck said. “Our team has extensive training in data security and privacy, and our systems have many controls in place to protect your child’s educational records. Additionally, CNYRIC also received assurances that Pearson has taken the necessary steps to mitigate the incident and is enhancing protections to guard against similar events.”
Out of an abundance of caution, each student who was affected will be notified via first class mail and also have the option of receiving free Experian credit monitoring for one year, courtesy of Pearson.
Those interested in learning more about this option can call Experian, at (866)883-3309.
Any other questions about Homer’s involvement in this incident can be directed to Superintendent Turck at (607)749-7241 or firstname.lastname@example.org.