By Deb Herbage
It’s horrendous our kids data (368,000 records) have been compromised by using Florida Virtual School (FLVS) for on-line classes, full-time classes and elective classes that our kids signed up for and used through FLVS (my own daughter included). The FL legislators mandated that ALL Florida students take an “on-line class” as part of their diploma for graduation from high school. Now we are being told that these records have been UNSECURED FOR OVER TWO YEARS.
FLVS announced the breach to the public last week. They downplayed the damage. Stating:
“A statement from FLVS says the breach likely occurred between May 6, 2016, and Feb. 12, 2018, but it wasn’t reported until last Friday. The breach may have impacted more than 368,000 current and former students and up to 2,000 teachers at the school.”
“FLVS says school records including students names, dates of birth, school account numbers, their usernames and passwords as well as parent’s names and emails were compromised by the breach.”
“FLVS is now offering free identity protection services to students, former students and others who were impacted by the incident.”
This morning, there was further reporting about this incident. We (parents and students) are now being told that FLVS servers were UNSECURED for over two years.
“Through the efforts of forensic experts, a FLVS misconfigured server was identified as the source of some of this compromised information. The data on this server was from a 2013 partnership between Leon County Schools and UCompass, subsequently purchased by FLVS. From this 2013 partnership, it was identified that some current and former teachers’ social security numbers were compromised. LCS has notified those affected current and former employees through traditional mail. While the FBI and FDLE investigations are ongoing, LCS has initiated personal identity protection, inclusive of credit monitoring, immediately for these affected parties.”
“Forensic experts also identified additional student and teacher information that may have been compromised at FLVS. As required by law, Florida Virtual School has posted information about this data security incident on their website. Leon County Schools is in the process of directly notifying these teachers and students.
“Although the investigations are on-going, we do believe that the scope of the breach may be substantial. We are taking this matter very seriously. We want to assure you that the privacy and security of the information in our care is one of our highest priorities”
THAT is some extremely sloppy data protection. THAT is infuriating. It’s bad enough the breach was allowed to happen in the first place but it’s completely and utterly unacceptable that FLVS was not forthcoming with the information to parents, students and teachers. FLVS lied. They lied by withholding the information of the unsecured data. Unsecured for over 2 years. If Leon County Schools (LCS) did not take initiative to investigate the breach and share the information with the public, we may have never known that due to FLVS’ complete incompetence and complete lack of professionalism, our data and our children and teachers data was compromised. Cyber security expert Dwayne Denny with Data Specialist Group states parents should take immediate steps to protect their children. He had this to say, “So the first thing you want to do is, if you are a parent, contact all three of the credit reporting bureaus and tell them you want to lock down your child’s account. So they can put a lock on your child’s account so that no credit can be applied to using that social security number,” said Denny”.
FLVS can release all the statements they want about the incident. The bottom line is they lied or deliberately withheld information from the public, parents, students and teachers by downplaying the breach and not being truthful with HOW and WHY the incident occurred.
Here is a reminder of who started FLVS by “Education Cyber Playground”. In his words https://www.edu-cyberpg.com/K12-Education-Business.html
“2010 K12 Inc. (NYSE: LRN), Ron Packard, founder and CEO of K12 Inc. is the nation’s largest provider of proprietary curriculum and online school programs for students in kindergarten through high school. Neil Bush, Jeb Bush, George Bush Senior, Mrs. Bush, and President George Bush have created the education monopoly. that started in In 1999, with Ignite and included Bill Bennett for an educational venture called K12, Inc. that started with $4M of taxpayer NCLB funding !!! now going to be worth a Billion dollars!!!”
“This is how you take money from the public / the commons and into the pocket of privateers!!! This doesn’t have anything to do with education but everything to do with stealing our money.”
“Jeb Bush explains how to get all your tax money away from you and given to his friends in K12.com – Monopoly doesn’t want to have Direct Competition!”
“Jeb Bush governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007, vouchers, school choice man will create the education monopoly. With the help of his family. Two other Bush-supported programs – one that offers tax credits to business that help send low-income kids to private schools and another that gives vouchers to disabled students – survived the high-court ruling. Bush also expanded the Florida Virtual School, a national model for online public education. Since leaving office, Bush has promoted his reform agenda in other states. He founded the Foundation for Excellence in Education and serves as co-chair of the Digital Learning Council to support information technology and will create the education monopoly.”
This has never been about educating our kids. This is about increasing their bottom line for their investment in the education companies they setup. Jeb Bush has made a bloody fortune off the backs of our children. Jeb Bush is a millionaire because of his ‘ventures’ into education and his cunningness to divert taxpayer dollars to his bank accounts, the bank accounts of his education investment firms, his education companies and the bank accounts of his two foundations here in Florida.
Parents need to start asking questions surrounding the security of their children’s data. These data breaches from the implosion of the ed-tech market are happening more often than you know.