Alabama’s Department of Education Faces Cyberattack

Alabama State Schools Superintendent Eric Mackey disclosed on Wednesday that the computer systems of the Alabama State Department of Education experienced a breach last month, potentially impacting students and department personnel.

In a press briefing held in Montgomery, Mackey revealed that the breach occurred on June 17, and the department’s staff promptly intervened to halt the attack.

Characterizing the incident as a denial of service attack aimed at encrypting and pilfering data, Mackey emphasized that the extent of data compromised is still under evaluation.

Addressing the public, Mackey advised vigilance regarding credit monitoring and the possibility of compromised data among parents and local/state educational staff.

Noting the absence of direct deposit information retention, Mackey assured that efforts are underway to determine the specific data accessed during the breach.

While speculation around potential involvement of a foreign actor arose, Mackey refrained from providing additional details, citing limitations in disclosure.

Collaboration with the Alabama Attorney General, the Alabama Office of Information Technology, and an external contractor is ongoing to fortify cybersecurity measures and pinpoint the scope of data exposure.

Assurances were made in a departmental statement regarding compliant notifications to affected parties and adherence to established protocols.

To streamline communication, a dedicated webpage – alabamaachieves.org/databreach – has been introduced for inquiries and feedback at databreach@alsde.edu.

Mackey announced scheduled website maintenance starting at 5 p.m. on Wednesday evening for system updates, prompting temporary service disruptions.

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