Lakes Region Scholarship Foundation Computer Security Breach
Lakes Region Scholarship Foundation has mailed notices informing former
Lakes Region high school students who had applied for scholarships
during the period between 1996 and 2009 of a computer security breach
incident, which may have resulted in the compromise of applicants’
names, addresses and social security numbers.
Lakes Region Scholarship Foundation is a non-profit corporation that
provides scholarships to college bound students in the Lakes Region.
According to Executive Director Joan Cormier, “on February 15th an
employee of the Foundation was contacted via telephone by a person
purporting to be calling about a computer error message.
Coincidentally, the employee who answered the telephone was in the
process of installing an updated version of an anti-virus software
program and had just witnessed an error message screen. Because of
this fact, the employee assumed that the call was legitimate and gave
the caller access to the computer system.” The person said that
they were running a test of the system and then told the employee that
they “had been hacked” and the computers were compromised. The
employee became suspicious when the caller offered to fix the issue for
between $399 and $599 and asked for a credit card. The employee
then hung up, shut all computers down and contacted the Foundation’s IT
service provider, Cybertron, Inc. of Belmont, NH, who immediately
responded. Cybertron found that a certain program that would allow
for future access of the system had been installed. Cybertron did
not find any evidence that any files had been downloaded during the
incident, or that any personal data had been compromised, and the
Foundation has since come to believe the security breach was intended as
the first step in a now thwarted scheme to access its bank accounts.
In response to the incident, Cybertron immediately uninstalled the
program that would have allowed for future access and took additional
steps to ensure that the Foundation’s computers would not be accessed
again as a result of the incident. The Foundation contacted
its banking institution to put holds on all electronically accessible
accounts and subsequently closed and reopened bank accounts in order to
safeguard the Foundation’s operating funds and the endowment funds used
to provide scholarships. Cormier stated “our first concern was
that we safeguard the funds that have been entrusted to us.
Thankfully, we acted quickly and decisively and not a penny was lost as
a result of the incident.”
The Foundation also engaged Lawson Persson & Weldon-Francke, P.C., of
Laconia, NH, to ensure that it complied with all legal requirements
relating to the incident. Prior to 2009, the Foundation was
required to collect and transmit social security numbers of those
individuals who received scholarships to colleges and universities.
Applicant names, addresses, other contact information, and social
security numbers were stored in Microsoft Access and Microsoft works
database files and totaled 1,966 unique applicants. This
information is protected under NH law and any unauthorized access of
this information must be disclosed to those individuals who were
affected. In this case, there was no evidence that personal
information was accessed, but also no evidence to conclusively prove
that it was not accessed. Cormier said “regardless of whether we
are legally required to do so, we have decided to notify all who may
have had their personal data compromised. It would have been far
easier to dismiss this incident and sweep it under the rug as a thwarted
theft attempt. However, as an organization, we believe that it is
important that we be upfront, open and honest with our applicants,
donors, and the communities that we serve and, for that reason, we are
proceeding as if an actual data breach has occurred.” In addition
to the notices mailed to all potentially affected individuals, the
Foundation has also notified the NH Attorney General and nationwide
consumer reporting agencies of the incident.
Computer data security breaches have become frequent occurrences in
recent years with sophisticated large retailers, hospitals and financial
institutions falling victim. However, Tracey Rich, Vice President
of Cybertron, stated “the major breaches are what make the 11 o’clock
news but small scale breaches occur far more frequently and impact a
variety of organizations. Thankfully, the employee in this case
acted appropriately when something didn’t feel right.
Unfortunately, others don’t and the hackers are able to do substantial
damage with the information that they are able to covertly obtain.”
Rich said that there are a few simple rules that will help to avoid
incidents like this. “If you don’t know someone and know them well,
don’t give them access to your computer system. Make sure that any
new software that you are installing is authentic and doesn’t include
spyware or other malicious code that can be used to covertly access your
computer. Beware of email attachments or hyperlinks in emails; if
you question something, call or email the sender to verify that they
actually sent it before opening a file or following a link. If you
need to maintain personal information like social security numbers, make
sure that these files are encrypted to prevent third party access to
them. Finally, password protect your systems and make sure that
your passwords are not easily guessed.” Following these guidelines
won’t ensure that you won’t be subject to a data breach, but they will
greatly reduce the risk of one.
Former applicants, donors and members of the
community with questions may contact the Lakes Region Scholarship
Foundation at 603-527-3533.
Memorial Library News
The Oscar Foss Memorial Library has been
conducting a survey to find out how we can better serve you in the
coming year. You still have time to participate in this survey by
visiting our website, oscarfoss.org, or picking one up from the
circulation desk next time you are in. The deadline for submissions is
March 31st. We would love to know your thoughts!
Join us at the library for Monday Crafternoons every 4th Monday of the
month from 6:30-7:30pm. Bring whatever craft project you are currently
working on (sewing, knitting or crochet, art work, etc.) down to the
library and use our meeting space to create with other crafters!
Share tips and tricks, or use our books for inspiration. Library staff
will be on hand to help you find information and there will be coloring
pages and colored pencils provided if you don’t currently have a project
to work on. Registration is not required, just come on in and join the
Please call the library (269-3900) or visit our website (oscarfoss.org) for
more information about these or any of our other programs or events.
There is always something happening at the Oscar Foss Memorial Library!
Library Hours are: Monday; 2pm-8pm, Tuesday & Wednesday; 10am-5pm,
Thursday; 5pm-8pm, Friday; 2pm-5pm, Saturday; 9am-Noon.
Holy Week And
Easter Services At CCNB
Join us for worship during Holy Week and
Easter at Congregational Church of North Barnstead, UCC Thursday
evening, March 24th at 7pm we gather for the Maundy Thursday and
Tenebrae service, remembering Jesus’ last night with his disciples. On
that night, Jesus washed the feet of his disciple and said, “Love one
another as I have loved you”. We will receive communion and all are
welcome at the communion table. We then move into the service of
Tenebrae, the Latin word for shadows as we hear about Jesus’ betrayal,
arrest, passion, trial, death and burial with a gradual extinguishing of
This is powerful service that draws us into
the events that surrounded Jesus in his last days and hours, preparing
our hearts us for the resurrection to come.
On Sunday, March 27th, the joy of the
resurrection will resound at our 10 am worship service, with brass and
hymns and the blessed Easter story told for all ages. After worship
there will be coffee hour and an Easter Egg Hunt for children.
CCNB is located at 504 North Barnstead Road,
at the north side of Center Barnstead. Going north on Rte. 28, turn
right on Peacham Road, travel to the end of the road, and turn right on
North Barnstead Road. The church is ¼ mile on the left. Parking is on
the street; there is a drop off area in front of the church and
accessible parking. We are child friendly and welcome the joyful noise
of young children.
Questions? Call our pastor, Rev. Nancy Talbott
at 724-4293. Find us on the web @ ccnorthbarnstead.com, or on Facebook
at “The Congregational Church of North Barnstead, United Church of
Robert J. DeButts
Center Barnstead – Robert J. DeButts, 48, of
So. Barnstead Road, died Sunday, March 13, 2016 at the Concord Hospital.
Born in Concord on January 8, 1968, Robert was the son of the late
Richard DeButts and Lorraine (DeButts) Rudd. He worked as a
carpenter for Gemini Construction and Whitten Works. Bob was passionate
about many things: He loved his dogs, hiking, camping and NASCAR,
however he was most proud of his two children Shawn and Casey. His sense
of humor will be missed by all.
He is survived by his partner, Jamie O’Connor; children Casey and Shawn
DeButts; his mother and step-father, Lorraine and William Rudd; his
siblings and their spouses, Laurie and Frank McPhee III and
Richard DeButts Jr. and Sheri; nieces, Sarah and Makayla ; a nephew,
Frank; and many aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.
Friends and family gathered to share memories Thursday, March 17 at the
Still Oaks Funeral & Memorial Home in Epsom. Burial took place
Friday, March 18 at the New North Cemetery in Nottingham.
Tom Petit of the Still Oaks Funeral & Memorial
Home is assisting with arrangements and offers an on-line guestbook at