Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Information Technology & Identity Theft Concerns & Information Assurance

Community College Loses Data Device with Student and Worker Info

October 21, Knoxville News Sentinel – (Tennessee) Roane State data device with student, worker info missing. A data storage device containing the names and Social Security numbers of more than 10,000 people has been missing since October 12 when it was stolen from a Roane State Community College employee’s car while it was parked off-campus in Knox County, college officials announced today. The college has issued an “ID alert” on its Web site, sent letters to anyone who may be affected by the theft and has notified major consumer reporting agencies. The device was used for work-related purposes. “Immediately after the theft, we did not want to release information that would interfere with the investigation,” said Roane State vice president. “Once it became clear an arrest, or the recovery of the device, was not imminent, we informed those affected as quickly as possible.” The device contained the names and Social Security numbers of 10,941 people, including 1,194 current or former employees and 9,747 current or former students. The device also contained the Social Security numbers only, but no names, for 5,036 current or former students. No academic records were on the device. The community college has posted more information here, www.roanestate.edu/idalert. The college has also set up a hot line to handle questions from those affected by the theft. The number is 865-882-4688 or toll-free 1-866-462-7722, extension 4688.

October 4, Newsday – (New York) E-mail error sends out students’ Social Security numbers. Suffolk Community College has agreed to pay a company for the next year to monitor the credit of 300 students whose last names and Social Security numbers were mistakenly listed in an attachment to an e-mail sent to those students last month. The college vice president, said Sunday there is “no indication” that any of the personal information has been misused, but added that the college decided “it was the right step to take the extra precaution” to minimize students’ risk of identity theft. The error, said the vice president, occurred late in the day September 17 and was discovered the next morning. She said college officials immediately shut down the server and took steps to retrieve unopened messages and attachments. She could not say how much of the personal information was recovered or whether anyone was disciplined for the security breach. The vice president declined to comment on whether the college would be liable if student’s information was misused, saying such circumstances are “conjecture” at this point. The same day the college learned of the problem, the vice president said school officials mailed a letter to inform students of the problem and alert them to immediate steps they could take to protect their personal data, including registering an alert with the three companies that monitor credit information.

Points for Consideration:
  • Does your department, school, or district have information and IT device controls and protocols for handling (physical, virtual, & human) and safe storage?
  • Should this personal information become, lost, stolen, or compromised does your organization know what to do? What specifics steps would you take should an information compromise occur?
  • Getting rid of old cell phones, zip disks, CDROMs, and computers that may contain personal information need to be considered when discarding items.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

When Tragedy Strikes A Community, Young Students Are Effected


TRAGIC EVENT: In Erie, Pennsylvania, a 29 yr old man shot and killed a 27 yr old woman and their two daughters (ages 4 and 7) in his home before killing himself.

Who in Erie County has considered the effects of these deaths upon their fellow school children? Who in a community coordinates with schools when a tragedy outside of school occurs? What about the students who know the young girls that were killed? Reacting to a community tragedy and determining the impact upon your student population immediately puts a school leadership team into the RECOVERY PHASE of the Emergency Management Process.

Post Tragedy Intervention For a School /School District:
  • Designate someone to track incidents which occur that could effect our young students.
  • Have that designee discuss the incident with school leadership and the guidance department and school psychologist to develop a strategy for crisis counseling.
  • Identify and solicit for students effected by the tragedy to determine the scale and scope
  • Review the resources available for counseling those students designated as requiring counseling.
  • Develop counseling courses of action:
    • Individual student counseling 
    • Group or class counseling 
    • Class Discussion with scripted counseling points
    • School Announcement or Assembly
    • Memorial Service
Someone needs to be looking out for the students when tragedy (fires, violence, accidents, crimes, etc.)  occurs in our communities. What are we doing for them when they come to school?


15 Yr Old Student Holds Class Hostage & Then Kills Himself in Wisconsin


Nov 29, 2010   Marinette, Wisconsin. A 15 yr old student (Sam Hengel) from Marinette High School went on a bathroom break during his 6th period social studies class. He retrieved a backpack from his locker with 2 semi-automatic pistols, 200 rounds of ammunition, and a pair of knives. He entered the classroom and held 23 classmates and his teacher (Valerie Burd) hostage. He immediately fired three shots, blasting a hole in a wall and tearing apart a film projector. No one else in the school apparently recognized the sound of the shots as gunfire. 

Students talked to Sam Hengel about everything from hunting and fishing to his favorite movies in an attempt to keep him calm. Hengel told the teacher to post a note on the door telling seventh-period students to report to the library. As a result, no one realized the class was in danger until about a half-hour after school ended, when a man came to the school office looking for his daughter. Principal Corry Lambie determined the last class the girl attended was Western Civilization and went to the room to find the door locked. When Lambie unlocked the door, Hengel pointed his gun at him and told him to leave. Hengel allowed the girl to go with Lambie.

The standoff dragged on for four more hours, with teacher acting as a go-between for Hengel and police. A SWAT team stormed the room after Hengel fired three shots about 8 p.m., destroying the classroom phone and hitting a computer. Hengel shot himself as officers reached him. He died the next morning at 10:44 am. The hostages were released until 8 pm.


1:30 pm 6th period classes start. 26 students report to the Western Civilization class taught by Valerie Burd (Rm A111). Some time during 6th period, Sam Hengel requests to go to the restroom and returns with a duffel bag containing weapons. Holds classmates and teacher hostage.

2:10 pm transition to 7th period classes. Students reporting to Mrs. Burd's classroom see note on door instructing them to report to the library as previously planned.

3:12 pm The school day ends.

3:40 pm A  parent who has been trying to reach his daughter to pick her up arrives at the high school office. Principal Lambie reviewed student daily attendance records to determine that the student was present at 6th period but not 7th. The same was true for a friend of that student.

3:45 pm Principal Lambie goes to Rm A111 and found the room dark with the door locked. He unlocked the door and entered the room. Sam Hengel pointed a weapon at him and told him to leave. The student whose father had come to the school left the room also.

3:48 pm Principal Lambie calls 9-1-1 to report the incident. The building was evacuated and Room A111 was isolated.

3:51 pm First law enforcement officer arrives on scene. Additional law enforcement and emergency medical continue to arrive.

7:40 pm Five (5) students are allowed to leave the classroom after requesting to use the restroom.

8:03 pm Gunshots are heard in the classroom and law enforcement personnel breach the door. The suspect shoots himself as authorities approach. Remaining students and the teacher are safely evacuated. During the night, an explosive detection canine conducts a safety sweep of the building and investigators collect evidence.