On October 26, 2017, a Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) employee’s state-issued laptop computer was compromised through a malicious ransomware attack. As a result, some students in school districts throughout Texas may have been potentially impacted by the breach. The information exposed on the employee's laptop included names, social security numbers, home addresses, birth dates, and personal phone numbers of the affected students and their families. To date, TDA's Information Security Officer (ISO) has identified more than 700 students whose sensitive personal information was, or is reasonably believed to have been, exposed to acquisition by an unauthorized person.
It is important to note that, to date, TDA’s ISO has not discovered any evidence to suggest misuse of the information that was compromised by the ransomware exploit. TDA recognizes the implications of this breach and continually evaluates agency processes and protocols to reduce future occurrences.
Fraud Alert Tip:
TDA recommends the affected students, or parents of the affected minor students, contact the three major credit bureaus and activate a free fraud alert on behalf of the students impacted by data breach.
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