Community College IT Breach Could Cost Up To $14 Million

By  Al Macias
December 11, 2013

The Maricopa County Community College District board on Tuesday night approved spending up to another $600,000 to repair a security breach in its technology system. The cost of fixing the problem and providing assistance to potential victims could go as high as $14 million. Millions of students, employees and vendors are being notified.

Back in April the FBI notified officials that personal information from the district records was being offered for sale on the internet.

The district hired outside contractors to determine the extent of the breach and how to fix it. Upgrades have been made to the system’s security. Now nearly 2.5 million current and former students, employees and vendors are receiving letters about the possible exposure of personal information.

District spokesman Tom Gariepy says half the letters have gone out and the rest should be sent by next week.

"A lot of people have wondered if this is a scam or if someone if trying to sell them something. I guarantee that this is a legitimate letter and if people call the 800 number they will be provided information from experts, no one will try to sell them anything," Gariepy said.

The district is providing one year of credit monitoring to potential victims. Meanwhile the district’s IT staff continues to upgrade a system it described as outdated. 

KJZZ is licensed to Rio Salado College, part of the Maricopa County Community College District.