MO Gov Threatens Criminal Charges Against Paper For Reporting Security Flaw That Exposes Teachers’ SSNs

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports:

The Social Security numbers of school teachers, administrators and counselors across Missouri were vulnerable to public exposure due to flaws on a website maintained by the state’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The Post-Dispatch discovered the vulnerability in a web application that allowed the public to search teacher certifications and credentials. The department removed the affected pages from its website Tuesday after being notified of the problem by the Post-Dispatch.

Based on state pay records and other data, more than 100,000 Social Security numbers were vulnerable. The newspaper delayed publishing this report to give the department time to take steps to protect teachers’ private information.

Mediaite reports:

Gov. Mike Parson (R-MO) is threatening the St. Louis Post-Dispatch with criminal charges because he is apparently unable to grasp the concept of web page HTML source codes. “We are coordinating state resources to respond and utilize all legal methods available,” he said on Thursday.

“My administration has notified the Cole County prosecutor of this matter. The Missouri State Highway Patrol’s digital forensic unit will also be conducting an investigation of all of those involved.” Again, the source code of any website is publicly available to anyone accessing the site with just a few clicks.