A Florida college recently became the next publicized victim of computer hackers. Birth dates and social security numbers were stolen from some 300,000 students and employees of Northwest Florida State College in early October. It is known that at least one hacker breached on folder of the school’s server between May 21st and May 24th, and while the two incidences haven’t been officially linked, investigators said that the close proximity of the two crimes time-wise most likely isn’t a coincidence. Many people criticized the length of time it took for the college to notify the potential victims whose information had been stolen, but it was determined the college was well within the 45-day time limit for informing victims as determined by Florida law.
According to the report, the hackers had access to the personal information of every single Florida student who was eligible for the Florida Bright Futures scholarship during the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 school years, the records of over 3,000 employees including their financial data, and the records of over 76,000 current and former students.
While it could be many years before the true extent of the damage this particular security breach has caused is known-as is the case with most identity thefts-it is already known that the hackers have been able to take out loans in the names of some of the victims from shady online lenders and obtain a credit card from The Home Depot. The President of the college was a victim himself and expressed empathy to other victims, saying that he had spent countless hours on the phone with his banks and others to restore his identity and credit, and to protect himself and his family from future theft attempts.
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