The Hollywood Reporter said that confidential academic data from the Los Angeles elite school Harvard-Westlake had been “hacked and leaked.” Files of about 150 alumni from the last decade are among the stolen data.
THR reported that the victims include children of Oscar winners, media moguls, celebrities, various millionaires, and significant political contributors of both major political parties.
The institution first opened its doors in the early 1900s. At that time, it was known as the Harvard School for Boys and the Westlake School for Girls. Both these merged in 1991. However, it is not associated with Harvard University.
Its renowned alumni include Dean Zanuck, Dorothy Arzner, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jason Segel, Candice Bergen, Billie Lourd, Beanie Feldstein, Ben Platt, Jason Reitman, and Maggie and Jake Gyllenhaal. Myrna Loy, Shirley Temple, NASA astronaut Sally Ride, and J. Paul Getty are other elites.
THR received academic documents such as transcripts, but the sender did not reply to follow-up queries. In early September, Harvard-president Westlake’s alerted parents of the security compromise and stated that the FBI had been contacted.
According to the school’s president, an attacker succeeded in getting a senior administrator’s account and password information. It is still unknown if the papers were distributed to other media outlets (apart from the school newspaper).
Perhaps most concerning to those affected is the breach of college recommendation letters involving “at times critical” appraisals of pupils and “frank psychological portraits,” as per THR.
This comes just a few months after a security breach at another nearby top school, the Center for Early Education, in which employee salary information was emailed to the whole school community.