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FDCSD addresses Timberline data security incident

‘Unknown actor removed certain files’

The network of a billing service company used by the Fort Dodge Community School District was accessed by an “unknown actor” earlier this year, the FDCSD announced on Tuesday.

On Sept. 2, Timberline Billing Service LLC informed the district of data that was accessed. The firm immediately began an investigation.

The incident did not involve any access to the district’s internal systems or student records, according to the FDCSD.

Timberline provides Medicaid billing and reimbursement services to over 190 school districts in Iowa, including the FDCSD.

The unknown actor removed certain files between Feb. 12 and March 4, according to the FDCSD. While those files contained some personal information of former and current students, the files did not contain student Social Security numbers, credit card numbers or financial account information, the district reported.

Because Timberline’s investigation was unable to determine what information was actually removed, Timberline reviewed all files that could have been accessed by the unknown actor.

Timberline’s review determined that the files contained information for some current and former students of the district, including names, dates of birth, Medicaid identification number and related billing information.

Timberline is not aware of any misuse of the data as a result of this incident.

“However, in an abundance of caution, Timberline is offering affected students complimentary credit monitoring and identity protection services,” the district said in its statement.

On Tuesday, Timberline began mailing letters to certain current and former students of FDCSD.

The district is recommending that individuals review the statements they receive from their health care providers.

If they see services they did not receive, they should contact the provider immediately.

Timberline has established a dedicated call center to answer any questions parents or students may have about this incident. This toll-free dedicated assistance line can be reached at 1-844-439-7669, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. Central Time, and Saturday and Sunday between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Central Time.

To help prevent something like this from happening again, Timberline is taking steps to enhance the security of its systems, including upgrading all servers and firewalls, resetting all user passwords, requiring frequent password rotations, and migrating school and student data to a cloud location.

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