ST. LOUIS — Nearly 620,000 past and present certified educators in Missouri's personal information was determined to be vulnerable on a state website. The state is now offering credit and identity theft monitoring to educators.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), alongside Missouri's Office of Administration Technology Services (OA-ITSD) division will soon be sending letters to those whose personal information may have been stored on the website.
State officials said they're not aware of any information being misused, or if the information was accessed more than once. Missouri is offering 12 months of credit and identity theft monitoring resources through IDX.
“Educators have enough on their plates right now,” said Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven. “It is unacceptable. The security of the data we collect is of the utmost importance to our agency. Rest assured that we are working closely with OA-ITSD to resolve this situation.”
On Oct. 12, 2021, DESE officials were made aware that the personal information, including social security numbers, of three Missouri teachers had been accessed.
The vulnerability was first discovered by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which then alerted state officials about the issue. Reporters said the flaw was “in a web application that allowed the public to search teacher certifications and credentials.”
DESE notified OA-ITSD, which then disabled the tool. The incident is still being investigated.
The credit and identity theft monitoring services being offered to teachers cost the state around $800,000.
Educators can call the IDX Call Center at 833-325-1777 to determine if they are eligible for coverage. The call center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.