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Cyberattack on a Long Island school district exposes employees' personal data

Brett Sayles

An external system breach discovered on June 14 exposed the names, phone numbers, email addresses and ID numbers of 99 employees of Plainedge Public Schools.

According to the incident report, those affected were not notified for another 10 days.

Officials said schools are easy targets for hackers because their systems carry massive amounts of data that can be sold for identity theft. In many cases, they lack resilient IT departments, and the rapid transition to remote learning during the pandemic left them vulnerable.

Long Island schools reported at least 29 cyber attacks between 2019 and 2021, including a major ransomware incident in September that caused the Manhasset School District to temporarily close its computer network.

Sabrina is host and producer of WSHU’s daily podcast After All Things. She also produces the climate podcast Higher Ground and other long-form news and music programs at the station. Sabrina spent two years as a WSHU fellow, working as a reporter and assisting with production of The Full Story.