- Hackers attacked a University of California, Berkeley computer network in late December, university officials reported on Friday.
- The network contained the financial data of 80,000 people, including Social Security and bank account numbers of students, alumni, employees and former employees, the university said.
- The breach occurred in the Berkeley Financial System, which managed purchasing and nonsalary payments, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Universities have increasingly been under attack by hackers because they can potentially obtain huge troves of data in one place. In the past year, hackers have targeted the University of Connecticut, Penn State's engineering school and University of California, Los Angeles.
In August, Rutgers University announced it hired two additional cybersecurity firms to protect its networks and that it expects to spend between $2 million and $3 million on cybersecurity this year. The university has cited growing cybersecurity costs as one of the reasons why it raised tuition and fees 2.3% for the 2015-16 school year. Rutgers' computer network was disrupted four times during the 2014-2015 school year.
Janet Gilmore, UC Berkeley spokeswoman, said those affected were primarily people who received electronic fund transfers and vendors whose financial information was in the system for payment purposes.
There is no evidence that any of the data has been used or illegally copied, university officials said.
“We (looked) at all the available evidence of what the attackers did, and as we looked at that, we don’t see any evidence that these are the kinds of attackers that did access the data, or did anything to take that data,” said Paul Rivers, UC Berkeley’s chief information security officer.