Colorado Public School Students at Risk Because of Department of Education Breach

  • By Steven
  • Aug 09, 2023

Colorado Department of Higher Education Data BreachThe Colorado Department of Higher Education is the government organization responsible for overseeing public education throughout the state. The organization implants most education-related policies and also manages data for educational institutions. This organization recently suffered from a significant data breach, leading to information losses for students associated with public schools throughout Colorado. It's an issue that could result in widespread data losses. 

How Did the Attack Occur?

The Colorado Department of Higher Education doesn't explain how its systems were breached but does say that a ransomware gang got into its network, encrypted its files, and demanded a ransom payment for the information back. It's likely the attackers used a security vulnerability or obtained login credentials via a phishing attack. Either way, the organization can do real harm to any students whose data was taken in the attack. 

What Information Was Viewed or Stolen?

A wide range of education and personal information was taken during this data breach. Students and some faculty included in this breach may have had their birth dates, home addresses, Social Security numbers, government IDs, police reports, and more exposed from the breach. All of this data could be used to attack the individuals involved and could do serious harm if it isn't contained properly. Any students attending a public higher education institution between 2007 and 2020 may be involved in this breach. It's also possible that anyone attending a public high school in Colorado could be impacted all the way back to 2004. This includes a huge number of individuals. Adults relying on tuition assistance and the Adult Education Intiaitions through the Colorado Department of Education may also be at risk. 

How Did the CDHE Admit to the Breach?

The organization sent out notices to everyone involved in this data breach. If you receive a notice, you know your data could have been stolen, and it may be misused in the future. Getting a notice from the CDHE qualifies you to receive credit monitoring services, making it easier for you to protect yourself. 

What Will Become of the Stolen Information?

We can't say how the data stolen from the CDHE will be used, but we suspect it will be leveraged to generate as much money as possible. This means the information will be sold to other hackers. The data will likely be used for identity theft, future phishing attacks, and for other harmful purposes. If your information was stolen in this breach, you should prepare to have it used against you. 

What Should Affected Parties Do in the Aftermath of the Breach?

If you receive a notice from the Colorado Department of Higher Education regarding the data breach, you should take immediate action to guard yourself. Initiate the free credit monitoring and identity theft service the organization is offering to all the victims. You should also check your credit report to see if any odd changes occurred to your credit already. You can place a freeze on your credit for the ultimate level of protection, but identity theft protection services will likely keep you protected and aware of what's happening online.

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