Suffolk County, New York Police recently arrested seventeen year old Matthew Calicchio and accused him of hacking into the student records of students in the Sachem School District and then posting the personal information on thousands of students online. The hacking was first discovered in August, but was not able to determine who they thought had perpetrated the crime until now. The hacked information has been taken down, but was up online long enough to pose a significant threat of identity theft to thousands of people whose information had been stolen.
If indeed, Calicchio is the hacker, this is just another example of how young and relatively inexperienced hackers can obtain critical information from various sources that do not protect their data properly through encryption and other security measures. It is also a lesson to all of us to make sure that we limit the places that have our personal information to only those entities that truly require our personal information. And just as it was said that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty so is it the price of personal security. Make sure that you monitor your credit report regularly and are regularly looking for indications of identity theft.