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Rockwood Technology Update -- August 20, 2021

 A Rockwood student works at a district computer.The Rockwood School District has been working with forensic specialists and the FBI to investigate an attack on our internal systems that was first discovered on June 17, 2021. Through the investigation, the forensic specialists determined that certain District systems were subject to unauthorized access. As a result, some student and current and former employee information may have been affected. At this time, we have no evidence of any misuse of student or staff information. The confidentiality, privacy, and security of information in the District's care is one of its highest priorities and the District takes this incident very seriously.  Although the District has not received any reports of actual or attempted misuse of the impacted information, the District is providing this notice out of an abundance of caution.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What happened?
On June 17, 2021, the District discovered that certain computer systems in its network had been infected with malware which prevented access to certain files on those systems.  Upon discovery, the District immediately notified law enforcement and began an investigation with the assistance of third-party computer forensic specialists.  The investigation recently determined that certain District systems were subject to unauthorized access between April 20, 2021 and June 24, 2021.  Through this investigation, it was determined that the District was the victim of a criminal ransomware attack.  While the investigation was able to determine that certain District systems were accessed, the investigation was unable to confirm what information within those systems was actually accessed.  Therefore, out of an abundance of caution, the District conducted an extensive review of the contents of the impacted systems in order to provide notice to impacted individuals.

What did the investigation reveal?
The investigation determined that there was a criminal ransomware attack on our systems and that some student and staff information was present on the impacted systems during the incident.

Who was impacted?
While the investigation is ongoing, evidence shows that an unauthorized party gained access to certain files that contain information belonging to members of the Rockwood community, including employees and their dependents, retirees and students. The District has identified individuals whose information was present on the impacted systems during the incident and is in the process of sending the appropriate individual notifications via the United States Postal Service.

What information was involved?
The information contained within the files at issue varied by individual but contained names, addresses, Social Security number, date of birth, financial account information, District employee identification number, MOSIS identification number, and/or student records (report cards, transcripts and assessment data; medical and discipline records were not compromised).  The District does not have any evidence that information was subject to actual or attempted misuse.

What can you do?
The District encourages you to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft and fraud and to review your account statements and free credit reports for suspicious activity and to detect errors.  The District apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause and remains committed to the privacy and security of all information it maintains.

Under U.S. law, a consumer is entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.  To order your free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call, toll-free, 1-877-322-8228.  You may also directly contact the three major credit reporting bureaus listed below to request a free copy of your credit report.

Consumers have the right to place an initial or extended "fraud alert" on a credit file at no cost.  An initial fraud alert is a 1-year alert that is placed on a consumer's credit file.  Upon seeing a fraud alert display on a consumer's credit file, a business is required to take steps to verify the consumer's identity before extending new credit.  If you are a victim of identity theft, you are entitled to an extended fraud alert, which is a fraud alert lasting seven years.  Should you wish to place a fraud alert, please contact any one of the three major credit reporting bureaus listed below.

As an alternative to a fraud alert, consumers have the right to place a "credit freeze" on a credit report, which will prohibit a credit bureau from releasing information in the credit report without the consumer's express authorization.  The credit freeze is designed to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in your name without your consent.  However, you should be aware that using a credit freeze to take control over who gets access to the personal and financial information in your credit report may delay, interfere with, or prohibit the timely approval of any subsequent request or application you make regarding a new loan, credit, mortgage, or any other account involving the extension of credit.  Pursuant to federal law, you cannot be charged to place or lift a credit freeze on your credit report.  To request a security freeze, you will need to provide the following information:

  1. Full name (including middle initial as well as Jr., Sr., II, III, etc.);
  2. Social Security number;
  3. Date of birth;
  4. Addresses for the prior two to five years;
  5. Proof of current address, such as a current utility bill or telephone bill;
  6. A legible photocopy of a government-issued identification card (state driver's license or ID card, etc.); and
  7. A copy of either the police report, investigative report, or complaint to a law enforcement agency concerning identity theft if you are a victim of identity theft.

Should you wish to place a credit freeze, please contact the three major credit reporting bureaus listed below:

Equifax

Experian

TransUnion

https://www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services/

https://www.experian.com/help/

https://www.transunion.com/credit-help

888-298-0045

1-888-397-3742

833-395-6938

Equifax Fraud Alert, P.O. Box 105069 Atlanta, GA 30348-5069

Experian Fraud Alert, P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013

TransUnion Fraud Alert, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016

Equifax Credit Freeze, P.O. Box 105788 Atlanta, GA 30348-5788

Experian Credit Freeze, P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013

TransUnion Credit Freeze, P.O. Box 160, Woodlyn, PA 19094

You may further educate yourself regarding identity theft, fraud alerts, credit freezes, and the steps you can take to protect your personal information by contacting the consumer reporting bureaus, the Federal Trade Commission, or your state Attorney General.

The Federal Trade Commission may be reached at: 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580; www.identitytheft.gov; 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338); and TTY: 1-866-653-4261.  The Federal Trade Commission also encourages those who discover that their information has been misused to file a complaint with them.  You can obtain further information on how to file such a complaint by way of the contact information listed above.  You have the right to file a police report if you ever experience identity theft or fraud.  Please note that in order to file a report with law enforcement for identity theft, you will likely need to provide some proof that you have been a victim.  Instances of known or suspected identity theft should also be reported to law enforcement and your state Attorney General.  This notice has not been delayed by law enforcement.

What is Rockwood doing?
The District takes the confidentiality and security of information very seriously.  The District promptly investigated this incident and took steps to secure our systems. The District also implemented additional security measures and is reviewing and enhancing existing policies and procedures to reduce the likelihood of a similar future event. The District is also offering credit monitoring for individuals whose information was impacted.

Why weren't we notified sooner?
As soon as we learned of the incident, we engaged third-party computer specialists to conduct an investigation into the nature and scope of the incident. The investigation has involved meticulously examining individual files on certain impacted servers while working to restore District systems to secure, full functionality. Once the District learned that certain systems were accessed, we began the process of reviewing our internal systems in order to identify the presence of protected information and to whom the information belonged.

Did the district pay a ransom to those responsible?
No, the District did not pay the ransom.

Safeguarding the confidentiality, privacy and security of your information is one of our highest priorities. We share your concern, and we regret the inconvenience and anxiety this situation has caused for everyone involved. Please know, we remain committed to protecting the information in our care and will continue to take steps to continuously improve and fortify the security of our systems. Our technology team has been working tirelessly to address this situation, and we appreciate your support and understanding as we work to securely restore our systems and prepare for the new school year.   

For more information. 
We understand some people may have additional questions concerning this incident.  Individuals can direct questions to (636) 733-1111 Monday – Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.