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Student, worker data at risk at Maricopa colleges

Published on NewsOK Modified: November 27, 2013 at 4:15 pm •  Published: November 27, 2013

PHOENIX (AP) — Private information of millions of current and former students, workers and suppliers at the Maricopa County Community College District was vulnerable to hackers because of security lapses in the district's computer systems that have since been patched, district officials said Wednesday.

The information that was potentially exposed included names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers and bank account information, but not credit card or health information. The district will notify nearly 2.5 million students, suppliers and employees by mail of the potential that their information was compromised and will provide credit monitoring and other services, district spokesman Tom Gariepy said.

The district has no evidence data was actually stolen, but can't prove it was not.

"We just don't know," Gariepy said.

The district has 10 community colleges and about 265,000 students attend classes each year. Including current and former students and staff, the total number of individuals affected is about 2,489,000, Gariepy said.

Chancellor Rufus Glasper apologized for the security lapse.

The FBI notified the district in April that someone was offering to sell its data online, and a months-long probe of the district's computer systems and its processes was launched, Gariepy said. FBI agent and spokesman Manuel Johnson confirmed the agency passed along the tip but said he had no additional information he could release on the case.

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