Local student data breached in national incident


Mohawk Valley districts involved in Pearson Education database compromise

UTICA–One database used by thousands of schools across the country has been breached; names, some birthdays and emails of local students were impacted.

Pearson Education says the program in focus is their former online student/classroom database–AIMSweb 1.0.

The company notified customers of unauthorized access to approximately 13,000 school and university AIMSweb 1.0 accounts. The exposed data was isolated to first name, last name, and in some instances may include date of birth and/or email address.

Scott Overland, Pearson Director of Media Relations

Central Valley Academy was caught up in the mix. 1,769 students impacted from 2012-2016, according to district Data Privacy Coordinator Cuyle Rockwell.

Herkimer BOCES says 82 of their students enrolled in 2012-2013 were impacted; 2013 was the last year the district used AIMSweb 1.0.

Herkimer and CVA both sent notification of the breach to those impacted.

Herkimer BOCES Superintendent Sandra Sherwood says not all students may have received notice, saying “some of these kids may have been seniors at the time, in which case their whole family may have moved on… but we went by the data we had.”

Anthony Martino from the Northeast Cybersecurity and Forensics Center at Utica College says “these are students, largely many of them younger students. Many of whom may not already have credit or certainly may not be checking on things like their credit report very often, if at all. So if someone were to steal their identity and be able to get those other pieces of the puzzle completed these are people who are very unlikely to know that–maybe for years into the future.”

Westmoreland Central School District’s Superintendent’s office says the district was impacted by the breach.

Westmoreland and CVA officials declined an on-camera interview.

Pearson’s communications office says the FBI informed them that no data has been misused and Pearson was not the primary or intended target of the breach.

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