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Important Message for Fort Worth ISD Employees

Dear Fort Worth ISD Employee –

Very soon you will receive a letter from the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) regarding a data security incident that exposed some of your personal information to the internet. This data exposure was not isolated to Fort Worth ISD employees but includes tens of thousands of school employees from hundreds of districts across Texas.

As soon as TASB learned of the data exposure they immediately shut down the application and began an investigation with the help of a computer forensics firm.

The TASB letter will explain that you are being provided with the option of enrolling in a complimentary one-year membership to a credit monitoring program. We encourage you to take advantage of this FREE service that would help detect possible misuse of your personal information. Also, additional steps to assist in answering your questions will be outlined in the letter.

It is important to understand this unfortunate event was not the result of anything done by the affected school districts. Please look for the letter in your regular mail delivered by the U.S. Postal Service.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Human Capital Management (HCM) staff at 817-814-2720.

Sincerely,
 
Cynthia Rincón
Chief | Human Capital Management
Fort Worth Independent School District

 

Texas Association of School Boards – Security Breach of Employee Personal Information FAQ

 

I received an email from the Fort Worth ISD stating that my personal information was viewable on the internet. Is this real?

Yes, TASB administers a group unemployment compensation program for Texas school districts including the Fort Worth ISD. TASB provides the Texas Workforce Commission with the required reporting for districts’ UC coverage. On May 22, 2017, TASB learned that the application containing employees’ personal information became visible on the internet.

When did TASB notify school districts?

The Fort Worth ISD was notified of the TASB breach on June 15, 2017.

Why didn’t TASB notify school districts sooner?

TASB used a forensic firm, Kroll Cyber Security, to determine the degree of the breach and notified districts as information was available. In the case involving the Fort Worth ISD, TASB reports that a Microsoft internet crawler called “Bing Bot” was the only web-based information bot that viewed and collected employee information.

What personal and confidential information was visible on the internet?

The employee information was based on current FWISD employees, name, social security number, and quarterly wage information during the fourth quarter (October, November, and December 2016) and the first quarter (January, February, and March 2017).

Why didn’t the Fort Worth ISD notify me until July 27th?

The Fort Worth ISD wanted to confirm the information from TASB and the authenticity of the report. The District wanted to ensure that TASB provided our employees with appropriate means to safeguard their credit and identity, and the District wanted to ensure communication with ALL employees knowing that a significant number of our employees would not be working during the month of July.

How many other districts are affected?

Over 800 school districts in Texas.

How many employees in the Fort Worth ISD are affected?

Over 14,000 employees who were active in our system during the fourth quarter of 2016 and first quarter of 2017.

Who is responsible for the mistake?

TASB takes the responsibility to protect District employee data very seriously. Through the forensic report for the Fort Worth ISD, TASB did not feel that District employee information was accessed in any malicious way but they cannot guarantee with absolute certainty that District employee information was not visible to someone. TASB takes full responsibility. 

What is the next step?

TASB does not have a timeline but we anticipate that by the middle of next week, all employees who are affected will receive a letter from TASB instructing District employees on how to access a free one-year credit and identity theft protection offered through Experian ProtectMyID Alert. Each correspondence is individualized for each of the 14,000 district employees impacted. The TASB number to call if you have any questions is 866-779-0497.