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vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

45,000 NYC Students Data Stolen in MOVEit Breach

45,000 NYC Students Data Stolen in MOVEit Breach
Husain Parvez Published on 29th June 2023 Cybersecurity Researcher

According to the New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE), sensitive personal information belonging to approximately 45,000 students was compromised as hackers gained unauthorized access to documents stored on the MOVEit Transfer server. This compromised data includes Social Security numbers.

In addition to the student and staff information, the exposure of New York City schools encompasses approximately 19,000 documents and an unspecified quantity of employee ID numbers.

"We also conducted an internal investigation, which unveiled that certain DOE files were compromised. Ongoing examination of the affected files indicates that approximately 45,000 students, along with DOE staff and associated service providers, have been affected," stated NYC DOE COO Emma Vadehra.

The New York Police Department and the FBI are among the law enforcement agencies investigating the incident. According to the officials, the breach did not affect all victims in the same way. For instance, they have identified 9,000 Social Security numbers that have been compromised, but they are still evaluating the extent of the exposure.

NYC DOE utilized the managed file transfer (MFT) software for secure data and document transfers. Upon receiving information from the software developer about the vulnerability (CVE-2023-34362), NYC DOE promptly applied patches to their servers. However, the attackers had already taken advantage of the vulnerability through large-scale attacks prior to the availability of security updates, classifying it as a zero-day exploit.

In a statement provided to BleepingComputer, the Clop ransomware gang has taken credit for the MOVEit Transfer attacks that exploited the CVE-2023-34362 vulnerability on June 5. The cybercriminal group claimed to have breached the MOVEit servers of "hundreds of companies."

Clop's participation in this large-scale data theft campaign reflects a broader trend of targeting MFT platforms. This pattern is evident in previous incidents, such as the breach of Accellion FTA servers in December 2020, SolarWinds Serv-U servers in 2021, and the widespread exploitation of GoAnywhere MFT servers in January of this year.

About the Author

Husain Parvez is a Cybersecurity Researcher and News Writer at vpnMentor, focusing on VPN reviews, detailed how-to guides, and hands-on tutorials. Husain is also a part of the vpnMentor Cybersecurity News bulletin and loves covering the latest events in cyberspace and data privacy.