DESE shuts down educator certification lookup tool due to potential compromise of SSNs

Last night Missouri NEA learned personally identifiable information of Missouri educators was potentially compromised via the educator certification search tool on the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (DESE) website. We immediately contacted DESE and the Commissioner of Education to learn more. I want to share with you what we know regarding the compromised information according to DESE. 

  • This was not a hack or attack. A flaw in the coding of the education certification search tool allowed access to the information. 
  • To access the information required viewing the website HTML source code. 
  • The personal information appears to be limited to Social Security Numbers. 
  • Upon learning about the issue the certification search tool was disabled. 

While any compromise of our personal information is unacceptable - at this moment - DESE is indicating the number of records compromised appears to be very limited. MNEA will continue to gather information from DESE and the Missouri Office of Administration as they investigate and alert you to any issues.

In the interim, I encourage you to review this guide from NEA to help you proactively take steps to increase the security of your private information and prevent identity theft (Fighting Back Against Identity Theft)

In addition, Missouri NEA has partnered with Securus ID to offer identity theft protection at a discounted rate. You can learn more at this link

DESE will continue to provide updates here:

Phil Murray
President, Missouri National Education Association


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