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All Atlanta Public Schools Employee Data Potentially Compromised

Investigators believe the scope of the Atlanta Public Schools data breach is larger than initially thought.

All of the roughly 6,000 employees for Atlanta Public Schools may have been affected by a data breach that allowed hackers to steal paychecks recently.

The district says the details of the hack are still being uncovered, but that it compromised a larger amount of employees than originally thought.

“Unfortunately, it is impossible for the district to see what the thieves actually accessed at this time, but it is apparent the breach extends beyond the original employees whose direct deposit was impacted,” the district said in a statement.

It was initially reported that hackers stole paychecks from 27 Atlanta Public Schools employees and changed the direct deposit information of seven others to steal a total of $56,459 in payroll funds. The problem was discovered on Friday, reports ajc.com.

The network breach is believed to have been a phishing attack, which is when hackers disguise themselves, typically in an email communication, in order to get victims to click on a malicious link that compromises their system.

The district immediately required employees to change their passwords after the discovery and the district is working with investigators to decide what other measures should be taken.

The U.S. Secret Service and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation are assisting in the investigation.

Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Maria Carstarphen said she can not provide additional details on the attack because of the ongoing investigation.

“While I wish that I had more answers, in the spirit of transparency, I wanted to get you this update as soon as possible and I promise to keep you posted as I learn more,” Cartarphen said in an email to employees.

A similar cyberattack occurred at the nearby Fulton County School System in August. In that incident, a phishing attack resulted in the theft of more than $75,000.

 

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