Minneapolis Public Schools doesn't realize how bad it was hacked: cybersecurity experts

As hackers leak private documents and personal information from Minneapolis Public Schools online, parents say the district hasn't been forthcoming and upfront about the cybersecurity situation.

Now, cybersecurity experts tell FOX 9 they don't think the district officials initially realized just how bad this hack was – and some victims say the district hasn’t alerted them that their information has been exposed.

HR files, student disciplinary records, and personal information are among the vast trove of data leaked by cybercriminals this week, as Minneapolis Public Schools finds itself the target of a ransomware attack.

"These attacks are all about the money," said national cybersecurity expert Mark Lanterman. "This is an effort to make money."

Lanterman is highly concerned about the sensitive data that’s been released, including student names and victim statements relating to an alleged sexual assault.

"I can’t think of data that would be more confidential than that," he says. "And it's now publicly available for anyone to see."

In a statement last week, Minneapolis Public Schools said: "...the investigation has not found any evidence that any data accessed has been used to commit fraud."

But victims of the breach know that could soon change now that their information is public.

"I’m not sure Minneapolis Public Schools has responded to it as well as they could," said Ian Coldwater, who has a child in the Minneapolis school and is a renowned cybersecurity expert.

Coldwater says they’ve received very little information from the district. It's concerning, considering what's at stake.

"It shouldn't be up to individual parents to be spreading the word among students, staff, and family," they write. "It should be up to the district."

Minneapolis Public Schools did not respond to our request for a comment on Wednesday. Experts say whether you realize your information has been exposed or not, if you are a parent or worker with the district, it would behoove you to change your password and keep an eye on your personal accounts.