STUDIO CITY—Confidential academic records of former students who attended the prestigious Harvard-Westlake School was breached, as first reported by The Hollywood Reporter on Saturday, October 9.
The confidential records included letters of recommendation, archived SAT scores, GPAS, and transcripts. It was reported that some of the material in the letters of recommendation were critical citing that, “frank psychological portraits” of students were made.
The Hollywood Reporter obtained some of the letters that were breached and commented that, “some offer context for the early academic performance of certain scholarship students. Others, in highlighting soon-to-be graduates’ extreme material advantages, seek to make the case that they are free of entitlement.”
On September 3, the school’s President, Rick Commons, informed alumni and parents of current students about a breach. He announced then that the FBI will be handling the matter and that, “the school is outraged by this violation of student privacy.”
Servers of Naviance, which is a third-party server the school uses as a college counseling platform, was compromised. Commons explained that an unknown entity obtained the username and password of the senior school administrator. It is unknown if the perpetrator has been caught.
There was another data breach that transpired at Center For Early Education which is another high-profile private school located in the Los Angeles area. Hackers published staff payroll and sent email blasts with “racist, sexist, and homophobic language.” There have also been many other digital attacks that have occurred throughout a multitude of schools in recent years where hackers demand a ransom in exchange for stolen data.
The Harvard-Westlake school is known for its high profile student body which contains children of influential political donors, Oscar winners, household names, and other media elite. Some of the school’s alumni include J. Getty, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sally Ride, Shirly Temple, and many others.
The Harvard-Westlake School has two locations in Los Angeles. Tuition runs about 42,000 a year.