cyberattack

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

Millions of victims of a data hack that targeted a Kansas state agency in possession of Social Security numbers were not informed of the breach directly, according to information obtained through an open records request.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

Hackers who breached a Kansas Department of Commerce data system used by multiple states gained access to more than 5.5 million Social Security numbers and put the agency on the hook to pay for credit monitoring services for all victims.

Ivan David Gomez Arce, flickr Creative Commons

More than two dozen Wichita-area companies are looking to hire cybersecurity experts. The problem is there are not enough trained workers to fill the openings.

KMUW’s Deborah Shaar reports on how Wichita State University is trying to fill the void.

Wichita State’s College of Engineering is adding new undergraduate and graduate programs in cybersecurity.

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) Department Chair and Professor John Watkins says students will learn about computer networks and infrastructure so they know how those systems can be exploited.

Wade Morgen / flick Creative Commons

On Monday night, the Wichita School Board approved an expense of up to $2 million to update the district's cyber security. Representatives from USD 259 say steps are being taken to keep its computer network safe after an attempted hack of the district-wide system last year.

Larry Darling, flickr Creative Commons

Update: 

Wichita Public Schools has released the following statement:

Good afternoon parents,

I am pleased to tell you that we are beginning the process to bring our critical business systems back online, including our student information system (Synergy) that powers ParentVUE.

We hope to restore full access by the end of the week, though it will take our teachers several weeks to get caught up with online grades due to the time our system has been unavailable.

As you know, we disabled access last week when we discovered an attempted computer system hacking of the district's network. Our investigation is nearing its conclusion, and it is with safety of student and staff data in mind that we begin the restart process.

Please review the following:

 Access to ParentVUE and StudentVUE

 - We hope to restore full access to ParentVUE by the end of this week. Once this is done we will send notice to you through email, social media, and our automated calling system. Your ParentVUE user name and password will not change. Please keep in mind that due to the time our system has been unavailable, it will take teachers several weeks to get caught up with online grades.

Data Remains Safe

- Our investigation is nearing its conclusion. Based on the investigation done by our cyber-security experts, there is no evidence at this time that any student records have been removed from our systems.

Our entire district community has been inconvenienced because of this situation, and I want to say THANK YOU for your continued patience and support of our district as we worked through the investigation. We look forward to being back up and running at full speed very soon.

Respectfully,

John Allison

Superintendent

Original Story:

The Wichita Public School District is making progress at getting its computer systems back online.

The systems were disabled more than a week ago after an employee discovered a hacking attempt into one of the district’s systems.

Ivan David Gomez Arce, flickr Creative Commons

The records of some Kansas Medicaid recipients and Missouri policyholders were among those compromised by a cyberattack on the nation’s second-largest health insurance company. Heartland Health Monitor’s Jim McLean has more...

Kansas State University officials say personal information from applicants for its graduate program in agronomy might have been exposed on the Internet.

The university says it notified 19 people yesterday who applied for the program between 2010 and 2013 about the possible problem, which did not involve outside hackers.

Information from 56 other applicants was exposed , but the school said that information wasn't likely to result in credit fraud.

Spokesman Jeff Morris says the error happened when student information was being moved into a central management system.

Auditors say a lack of accountability by some Kansas agencies that handle sensitive information could make citizens’ personal information vulnerable.

An audit released this week says some agencies aren't complying with requirements to provide detailed information technology plans because they see them as time consuming and of little value. Auditors say they found little state oversight of the required reports.

The audit found that 17 of the 45 agencies that hold data considered “high risk” had not had an independent evaluation of their security in the last three years.

The Kansas State Board of Education has voted not to release scores from a new standardized test. The computerized math and reading test for public school students was plagued with problems. As Stephen Koranda reports, glitches and cyberattacks disrupted testing for many students, so the results may not be valid.

The test was developed by the Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation at the University of Kansas, known as CETE. Board member John Bacon, from Olathe, says taxpayers need to know they’re getting their money’s worth.

Kansas State Board of Education members face a decision about how much data to release from statewide math and reading tests after public schools faced problems administering the exams.

The board’s discussion today is a response to cyberattacks and glitches in the computerized testing system earlier this year.

The Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation at the University of Kansas told the board last month that it should not release data for individual schools and districts. The biggest problems occurred with testing from March 10 to April 10.

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