School security breach impacts thousands

Bright Futures scholarship database stolen from Northwest Florida State College


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A security breach at a state college is impacting not just students, but people around the state who never even attended the panhandle college.  

People like Har'el Amir are receiving letters from Northwest Florida State College warning them their personal information may be in jeopardy.

"My name was one of the ones in the breach along with my social and personal information," said Amir.

The breach happened in October when someone hacked into the school's records system and obtained personal information. 

During the breach, social security numbers for thousands of  students who attended state colleges in Florida were stolen. 

The school also has information on any students with Bright Futures scholarships. Students who received Bright Futures scholarships between 2005 and 2007 across the state are being warned that their personal information may have been stolen.

"I was surprised that this college had my info on file under their security servers. I didn't understand why my info was being housed in their systems. I'm also every concerned about what kind of security the rest of universities have our information," said Amir.

Channel 4 contacted Northwest Florida State College. The school said they've sealed the breach and law enforcement officials are looking for the crooks. The school added it's common for state schools to have bright futures information on file for all students in the state even if the students attended a different school. 

"The information is provided by the state and the financial aid office. Most common practice is to download entire bright futures data file," said NWFSC spokesperson Cristie Kedroski.

The school is doing damage control, both publicly and behind closed doors.

"We have hired an outside consultant [that] has verified the breach has been closed and all entry points have been closed appropriately," said Kedroski.

More information about the security breach can be found on NWFSC's website.