• HCS is providing the following standard language according to legal requirement. 

    Notice of Data Privacy Event

    Henry County Schools (“HCS”) is providing notice of a recent event that may impact the privacy of some personal information. We are providing notice of the event, steps HCS is taking in response, and resources available to help those impacted better protect their information, should they feel it is appropriate to do so.

    As we previously shared publicly, during the week of November 6, 2023, HCS became aware of suspicious activity impacting our network operations. HCS immediately reported the event to law enforcement and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency. In tandem, HCS engaged Homeland Security, the FBI, and third-party cybersecurity investigators to assist in confirming the nature, source, scope, and potential impacts of the event. HCS is now able to confirm that we have been the victim of ransomware initiated by a criminal group, and our investigative team determined that an unauthorized actor had access to a certain environment on our network.

    Understanding what information had been impacted is a top priority. HCS’s investigation into the precise information impacted within the accessed environment, and to whom that information belongs, is ongoing and HCS is working with its external data mining team to review this data. Although it is difficult to not share more information at this time, the accuracy and integrity of this investigative review is essential.  Once the comprehensive review is finished by the external data mining team, HCS will work to match the information reviewed with each individual’s contact information, then will supplement this Notice with written notification to those individuals whose information was confirmed as impacted by this event as required by law.

    While this data mining team review is ongoing, we wanted to share the types of personal information potentially accessible – even though the external data mining team is working to confirm whether any of this has been accessed for any specific individual – so that you may take steps to protect yourself if you feel it appropriate to do so at this time. The types of personal information that may have been accessible to the unauthorized actor could include names, Social Security number, driver’s license or state identification number, financial account information, and username and password.

    As part of HCS’s ongoing commitment to the security of information, our procedures and practices regarding information security are being reviewed and enhanced (e.g. password resets), additional safeguards have been implemented and invested in by our Board of Education to reduce the likelihood of a similar event in the future. 

    We encourage potentially impacted individuals to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft and fraud by reviewing account statements and free credit reports for suspicious activity and to detect errors. Any suspicious activity should be reported to the appropriate financial institution. Additional resources available to individuals are being provided below out of an abundance of caution.

    Individuals seeking additional resources regarding this event can email IncidentResponse@henry.k12.ga.us as the cybersecurity investigators and data mining team continue the important work toward resolution. 

    HCS is committed to safeguarding personal information and will continue our ongoing efforts to enhance the protections in place to secure the information in our care. We thank the community for its patience and ongoing support as we navigate the response to this event. For the latest community messages regarding the incident, please visit the Cyber Incident Updates page.

    Best Practices from Our Cybersecurity Partners

    The following best practices are being shared out of an abundance of caution by HCS cybersecurity partners assisting with resolution of this incident. As in any case where a cyber incident associated with criminal activity has been identified, we encourage individuals to remain vigilant against events of identity theft and fraud, to review account statements and explanation of benefits, and to monitor credit reports for suspicious activity and to detect errors.  Under U.S. law, you are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus.  To order your free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call, toll-free, 1-877-322-8228.  You may also contact the three major credit bureaus directly to request a free copy of your credit report. Click here for information from the Georgia Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division on “Credit Reports and Credit Score.”

    Consumers have the right to place an initial or extended “fraud alert” on a credit file at no cost. An initial fraud alert is a one-year alert that is placed on a consumer’s credit file. Upon seeing a fraud alert display on a consumer’s credit file, a business is required to take steps to verify the consumer’s identity before extending new credit. If you are a victim of identity theft, you are entitled to an extended fraud alert, which is a fraud alert lasting seven years. Should you wish to place a fraud alert, please contact any one of the three major credit reporting bureaus listed below.

    As an alternative to a fraud alert, consumers have the right to place a “credit freeze” on a credit report, which will prohibit a credit bureau from releasing information in the credit report without the consumer’s express authorization. The credit freeze is designed to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in your name without your consent. However, you should be aware that using a credit freeze to take control over who gets access to the personal and financial information in your credit report may delay, interfere with, or prohibit the timely approval of any subsequent request or application you make regarding a new loan, credit, mortgage, or any other account involving the extension of credit. Pursuant to federal law, you cannot be charged to place or lift a credit freeze on your credit report.  To request a credit freeze, you will need to provide the following information:

    1. Full name (including middle initial, as well as Jr., Sr., II, III, etc.);
    2. Social Security number;
    3. Date of birth;
    4. Addresses for the prior two to five years;
    5. Proof of current address, such as a current utility bill or telephone bill;
    6. A legible photocopy of a government-issued identification card (state driver’s license or ID card, etc.); and
    7. A copy of either the police report, investigative report, or complaint to a law enforcement agency concerning identity theft if you are a victim of identity theft.

    Should you wish to place a fraud alert or a credit freeze, please contact the three major credit reporting bureaus listed below:










    Equifax Fraud Alert, P.O. Box 105069 Atlanta, GA 30348-5069

    Experian Fraud Alert, P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013

    TransUnion Fraud Alert, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016

    Equifax Credit Freeze, P.O. Box 105788 Atlanta, GA 30348-5788

    Experian Credit Freeze, P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013

    TransUnion Credit Freeze, P.O. Box 160, Woodlyn, PA 19094

    You may further educate yourself regarding identity theft, fraud alerts, credit freezes, and the steps you can take to protect your personal information by contacting the consumer reporting bureaus, the Federal Trade Commission, or the Georgia Attorney General. The Federal Trade Commission may be reached at: 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580; www.identitytheft.gov; 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338); and TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The Federal Trade Commission also encourages those who discover that their information has been misused to file a complaint with them. You can obtain further information on how to file such a complaint by way of the contact information listed above. You have the right to file a police report if you ever experience identity theft or fraud. Please note that in order to file a report with law enforcement for identity theft, you will likely need to provide some proof that you have been a victim. Instances of known or suspected identity theft should also be reported to law enforcement and the Georgia Attorney General. This notice to you has not been delayed by law enforcement.

    If you come to know that your personal usernames and passwords were impacted, it is recommended that you promptly change your password and security question and answer, as applicable, or take other steps appropriate to protect the potentially accessibly online account information and all other online accounts for which the same username, email address, password, and security question and answer are used. For HCS employees, the organization is undergoing enterprise password resets as an enhanced security procedure, as shared in the community message on November 30, 2023.