Data Breach Hits Alabama Department of Education Despite Blocked Attack


July 08, 2024

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Data Breach Hits Alabama Department of Education Despite Blocked Attack

On June 17, the Alabama State Department of Education succeeded in blocking a ransomware attack, but criminals managed to steal several documents from compromised servers and disrupt some services before they were stopped.

Superintendent Eric Mackey, who disclosed the attack, said efforts are now underway to determine the full scope of the breach.

Sensitive Documents Potentially Exfiltrated

The perpetrators might have accessed sensitive documents, including student and employee data, he indicated. However, direct deposit and employee bank account information remained secure, as these details are reportedly not hosted on state servers.

During a press conference, Mackey advised parents and local and state education employees to monitor their credit. Despite previous statements that threat actors didn’t compromise financial information, Mackey said people “should assume that there is a possibility that some of their data was compromised.”

Contractor Hired to Determine the Extent of the Breach

A contractor has reportedly been hired to thoroughly investigate the state servers and identify any information the threat actors may have accessed.

“We don’t know exactly what data was breached and we can’t disclose everything,” Mackey said. “But again, the attack on our system was interrupted and stopped by our IT professionals before the hackers could access everything they were after. That we know.”

Protecting Your Digital Footprint

This incident emphasizes the inherent vulnerability of personal data in today’s digital landscape: despite individuals’ best efforts to protect their information, they must often entrust it to external entities. This transfer exposes data to various intrusions, including breaches and other cyberthreats.

Fortunately, people can take clear measures to mitigate the impact of such incidents. For instance, dedicated services like Bitdefender Digital Identity Protection can significantly enhance the ability to control their digital footprint. This tool comprehensively monitors your online presence, alerts you immediately if your data is involved in a breach, and offers instant solutions to patch holes in your digital footprint.




Vlad's love for technology and writing created rich soil for his interest in cybersecurity to sprout into a full-on passion. Before becoming a Security Analyst, he covered tech and security topics.

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