Missouri apologizes to 600k teachers who had SSNs and private info exposed

Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has apologized to the 620,000 past and present educators who had their sensitive information — including their social security numbers — exposed on the DESE certification database.

Black Friday Deals

Missouri’s Office of Administration Information Technology Services Division (OA-ITSD) and the DESE will send out letters to those affected notifying them that their personally identifiable information “may have been compromised during a recent data vulnerability incident.”

The situation caused national headlines last month because the governor of the state used the incident to attack The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Josh Renaud, a reporter from the newspaper, discovered a vulnerability in the certification database that exposed teacher data, notified the DESE, and gave them time to fix it before publishing his story

But Missouri Governor Mike Parson claimed Renaud had “hacked” the database himself and threatened legal charges against the reporter. Since being ridiculed by cybersecurity professionals — and even members of his own party — Parson has used the incident to fundraise for himself, bringing in about $85,000 thanks to an ominous video doubling down on the hacking accusations, according to the Post-Dispatch. 

But DESE officials, alongside members of OA-ITSD, apologized this

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