In another frustrating headline, a hacker has stolen the personal details of over 500,000 San Diego Unified School District staff and students. Not exactly the kind of news you want to hear on Friday, before the Christmas holiday. This interesting news came from ZD Net in their article, “Hacker steals ten years worth of data from San Diego school district.”

The breach occurred because the attacker gained access to staff credentials via a tactic known as phishing. Phishing is a cybercrime in which the targets are contacted by email, telephone or text message by someone posing as a legitimate institution to lure individuals into providing sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, banking and credit card details, and passwords. As you can imagine, the information is then used to access important accounts and can result in identity theft and financial loss.

District officials said the hacker had access to its network between January 2018 and November 1, 2018, but that he stole student and staff data going back to the 2008-2009 school year.

Phishing scams are crude social engineering tools designed to induce panic in the reader. These scams attempt to trick recipients into responding or clicking immediately, by claiming they will lose something, usually money.

Melody K. Smith

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