State Board warns of fallout from data breach

A global data breach could affect Idaho college students and the state’s college and university employees.

The State Board of Education issued a warning Friday on the fallout from the worldwide breach of MoveIT, a file sharing program.

The breach doesn’t affect any systems operated by Idaho universities or the State Board, the board said in a news release.

But the breach affects the National Student Clearinghouse, which collects and shares student enrollment and degree data.

“To date, seven of Idaho’s public higher education institutions – North Idaho College, Lewis-Clark State College, the University of Idaho, College of Western Idaho, Boise State University, College of Southern Idaho and Idaho State University — have been contacted by the NSC and notified that personally identifiable information about some students attending the institutions was compromised as a result of the data breach,” the State Board said in its news release.

The breach also hit the Teachers Insurance Annuity Association of America, or TIAA, one of two companies that administers optional retirement plans for higher ed faculty and staff. TIAA told the State Board Thursday that the breach might have affected employee personal data — including names, addresses, birth dates and Social Security numbers.

The breaches occurred when a data hacker found a vulnerability in the MoveIT program, and they affect colleges and universities across the country, the State Board said Friday.

The State Board is urging students to monitor the NSC’s website for updates on the breach. Meanwhile, the State Board says employees should watch their mail; TIAA will offer two years of free credit monitoring to employees affected by the breach.

“Because the data breach involves a third-party vendor used by the National Student Clearinghouse and TIAA, there is nothing that students or institution employees need to do to secure their institution accounts or data,” the State Board said Friday.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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