Maricopa Security Breach

The rest of the story


Target CIO resigns

Here is an interesting article on the data breach at Target last year.

Target’s Chief Information Officer Resigns


Target: Accountability at the top, centralization, IT evaluation, 46% decline of revenue.

MCCCD: Accountability a few layers below the top, decentralization, tax and tuition hike.


Is MCCCD secure after the breach?

The section below came from the 11/12/2013 Governing Board minutes.  These statements were made days before the breach was disclosed to the media.

It makes you wonder how secure MCCCD is today and whether the college web sites are secure. MCCCD reported in a press release in May that the main Maricopa web server compromise had the potential to infect the college web servers as well.

This statement seems to indicate that November 2013, things may not have been as secured as people were let to believe when MCCCD servers were brought back up in May 2013.

  • Was a full assessment of the MCCCD web infrastructure even done before 11/12/2013?
  • Were computers still compromised when MCCCD brought the servers back up in May 2013 after the FBI notification?
  • Were the computers compromised in the 2013 breach replaced right after the incident?

Even though MCCCD has stated that their servers are secure, statements like the one below made at a Governing Board meeting make you wonder. It may be time for the State Auditors to do an IT audit before something bad really happens again.

Non-Consent Agenda


This is a follow-up item to move to a One Maricopa enhancement effort. It’s a three-phase system. Once Eagle Creek has assessed the existing web infrastructure,

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Analysis of Board Minutes after 2013 MCCCD Security Breach

The following blog contains a review of items as they relate to the 2013 Maricopa Community College security breach and as documented in the MCCCD Board Minutes from April 2013 until February 2014. Board minutes are available online. Click on the Motion number link to see the details. Here are additional resources and news coverage if you are interested.

 See observations and commentary below.

Board spending

We have used existing Board minutes to document Board items since the 2013 security breach. A few things are not very straight forward and others may need more explanation for the public to understand.  



IT Budget





Security Breach

Legal Fees







FBI Notifies MCCCD of breach

4/9/13 – Board Meeting

Nothing related to security discussed

4/23/13 – Board meeting

Nothing related to security discussed

Conceptual approval of $15 million for Student Information System Upgrade from Oracle



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ABC 15 Coverage – Maricopa County Community College security breach update: Workers told to turn over documents

Here is today’s News 15 coverage on the MCCCD security breach

MCCCD employees have received a letter from James Bowers, Interim VC of HR requesting that documents be turned over to the District.   Here is a brief synopsis:

1.  MCCCD has not provided employees access to records they need for their defense.  It has now been nearly a month an a half since records were requested.  The official records request sent to MCCCD in mid-January will be posted here shortly. No response or acknowledgment has been received from MCCCD.

2.  To make things worse, MCCCD now wants employees to return records they obtained via official records request regarding the security breach.

3.  Neither Mr. Corzo or Mr. Monsour have any sensitive information about the MCCCD Network. At the time of the incident, the responsibility, access and knowledge of the MCCCD network rested with another Director in the organization.  The harm has been done by MCCCD failure to act on information provided.  The harm to MCCCD now goes beyond a security breach.

4.  The press has been stonewalled when it comes to records request as well and little or nothing has been provided. MCCCD claims that documents are confidential and cannot be provided due to the hearing even though employees have waived their rights to confidentiality. We will post the letter from MCCCD here as well as the employee response.
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New Article – MCCCD Policies Ignored by Glasper

Here is another link to an article publish by the Arizona Daily Independent on MCCCD policies “MCCCD policies ignored by Glasper” that were not properly addressed by the organization.

This article focuses on a grievance filed buy (6) IT employees in 2012 and the lack of response from the Maricopa Community College District administration.  The grievance is an official MCCCD document filed by the Presidents of two employee groups at MCCCD on behalf of the IT staff. A prompt response to this grievance by the Administration could have prevented this incident, according to the article.

Are people asking the right questions regarding this incident?  Does it make sense for MCCCD to risk its reputation over a security incident like this?  Who is running the organization?


New article – Costs of MCCCD computer breach escalate

Here is a link to a new article by Mary Beth Faller in the AZ Republic regarding the MCCCD computer breach.

Just a few months after the breach, legal costs are beginning to skyrocket.

MCCCD security breach costs

IT costs are also beginning to escalate as projects previously approved by the Board now need resources for implementation.

ITS is asking the Governing Board for additional funding to hire new IT staff.  It is unclear what happened to the ‘permanent dollars’ ITS had from the 40+ individuals who left the organization in the midst of the turmoil. Salary savings might have been used to hire consultants.