Local College Data Breach May Have Affected 2,800 Students

WACO (February 14, 2014) Texas State Technical College was notifying more than 2,800 former students Friday about a server breach in which personal information may have been accessed.

The information about students who attended TSTC Waco in the summer of 2006 and during the 2007 academic year may have been exposed as the result of the unauthorized access to the college server, the school said late Friday afternoon.

"The college wants to be sure individuals are aware of the situation so they can carefully monitor their financial records for unauthorized activity over the next several months," spokeswoman Eliska Smith said.

"Our IT team are doing their best to protect against future intrusions," Smith said.

TSTC first announced the possible breach on Jan. 31 and said it was in the process of notifying employees that personal information may have been accessed.

“The vulnerability was contained on January 30 and an investigation ensued to determine the extent of personally identifying information on the server,” TSTC said in a press release Friday.

“During the computer forensic investigation, a small amount of TSTC Waco student records including name and social security number were found on the same server that had contained the employee information previously discovered,” the school said Friday.

Students who attended TSTC Harlingen, Marshall, West Texas and North Texas weren’t affected, the school said.

"Our students graduate and accept jobs all over the state of Texas, so our team has worked tirelessly to research current addresses," said Elton E. Stuckly, Jr. TSTC Waco president.

"Notifications have been mailed alerting the former students to remain vigilant to signs of possible misuse of their personal identity," he said.

TSTC will provide a year of identity theft protection at no cost to the students affected by the breach, Chancellor Michael L. Reeser said.

"It is important to remember there is no indication that any of the data on the machine was actually compromised - only that the opportunity for someone to access it existed," he said.

TSTC IT analysts continue to work with federal law enforcement agencies in the investigation of the unauthorized access, the school said.

TSTC set up a hotline for the former students to call to confirm whether personal information was at risk.

The College Office of Information Technology may be called toll free from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday at Sunday at 1-844-927-9900.

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