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SLO County Office of Education Hit by Cyber Attack

The San Luis Obispo County Office of Education took all services offline after learning of a cyber attack on June 12 that may have exposed employee financial information, although specifics are still under investigation.

A gloved hand coming out a laptop screen and stealing a credit card from a wallet sitting in front of the laptop.
(TNS) — Employees of the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education should keep an eye on their bank accounts — a cyber attack may have leaked their financial information last week.

On Tuesday, June 12, an outside source attacked Office of Education servers, according to the agency's assistant superintendent of business services Sheldon Smith.

However, there is no evidence that any employee data, such as payroll or human resources information, was leaked, Smith said.

The state's Center for Internet Security told the Office of Education that data may have been exposed during the breach, although it didn't know exactly which information or which school districts are impacted.

"We're working with specialists and law enforcement to confirm the nature and scope of the breach," Smith said. "At this point, we're asking employees to follow best practices and remain vigilant regarding data theft."

When the agency discovered the breach, it took all other services offline, according to SLO County Office of Education Superintendent James Brescia.

"Everything is shut down right now because we know we've been hacked," Brescia said.

As a result, employees are not currently able to access the Employee Self Service online portal where staff log hours worked and the office manages payroll.

While the servers are down, the Office of Education is issuing payroll by hand, according to Brescia.

"We're spending a lot of time to make sure that everyone is getting paid correctly," Brescia said.

The SLO County Office of Education offered employees up to a year of credit monitoring upon request. School districts will share sign-up information with their employees, Smith said.

"It's one of the things that we learned from COVID. If people didn't feel safe, it's in everyone's interest to provide the tools for them to feel safe," Smith said.

©2023 The Tribune (San Luis Obispo, Calif.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.