ISD Says Students Hacked Into School Records

By Julie Tam
|  Thursday, Sep 1, 2011  |  Updated 6:54 PM CDT
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Two BISD students recently hacked into a district server and accessed a file containing sensitive personal student information from the 2008-09 school year.

Julie Tam, NBC 5

Two BISD students recently hacked into a district server and accessed a file containing sensitive personal student information from the 2008-09 school year.

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Two Birdville Independent School District students are accused of hacking into thousands of student records earlier this week.

The district said the names and Social Security numbers of about two-thirds of the students enrolled in the 2008-2009 school year were accessed Monday evening.

The district said school administrators heard about the intrusion the next day after the students talked about it at school.

Birdville ISD spokesman Mark Thomas said a high school junior and senior hacked into a district computer server and downloaded the records of students who attended Birdville elementary, middle and high schools.

He said the district caught the intrusion immediately.

"Our servers are locked... This is a server that we were taking offline and, before we had it offline, they accessed these files," Thomas said.

He said the district has added some additional security measures.

More than 14,000 student records were breached out of the 22,000 students that were enrolled in 2008-09. One of the three files contained names, student ID numbers and Social Security numbers.

"It's actually kind of nerve-wracking, because I don't know if they have my information," said Richland High School student Katelyn Heath.

School officials said they don't think the two students did anything with the information. But the district still sent a letter home to families encouraging them to check students' credit reports for any suspicious activity.

"Then you're wondering, what's wrong with the school district for not having those locked?" mother Tishauna Gibbs said. "Why were those years not locked and the rest of them locked?"

She said her brother and sister attended school in the district in 2008-2009.

Birdville ISD said the students accused of the hacking will be disciplined. Punishment could range from in-school suspension to expulsion.

Police also are investigating and say criminal charges are likely.

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