Department of Education records hacked

February 15, 2007

By Darwin Danielson, Radio Iowa News

The Department of Education is warning Iowans that someone gained access to personal information in records that were in what was supposed to be a protected area on the department's website. Department spokesperson, Elaine Watkins-Miller, says the records contained names, addresses, dates of birth and social security numbers of individuals who obtained a G.E.D. from Iowa between 1965 and 2002.

Watkins-Miller says they want people to be aware of this and have information on their website so they can take action and check their credit report. Watkins says the credit report can help you determine if your information is being used illegally.

Watkins-Miller says you should keep an eye on the credit report, and call local law officers if you see any unusual activity. Watkins says they believe someone hacked into the records on Sunday. Watkins-Miller says they can't say how the records were access and that's being investigated by the DCI and the FBI. There were some 160-thousand records in the file, but she says it's believe only about 600 may have been viewed.

The G.E.D., or General Educational Development degree, is the equivalent of a high school diploma. Watkins-Miller says the Department of Education is completing a thorough review of its web applications to reassess their security.

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