A computer hacker broke into the computer system of the University of California, Berkeley that holds the financial data for more than 80,000 faculty, school officials, current as well as former employees, students and alumni. The school released the news on Friday.
The university announced that although no evidence had been found that any personal information was taken, it notified the potential victims of this breach so they could watch their accounts for any signs of the possible misuse of personal data.
Those who were notified included staff and students who were given non-salary payments through electronic transfers of funds, such as reimbursements that were work related or financial aid awards.
Vendors, whose financial information was already in the payment system, are also at a risk.
The hack took place during December, just after Christmas and as UC Berkeley was fixing a security flaw in its financial management system.
The chief information security officer at UC Berkeley, Paul Rivers said they looked over all the evidence available of what the attackers carried out and while looking at these there was no evidence that these types of attacks stole anything or did anything that took data.
However, as an abundance of caution, our judgment cannot be the only thing to depend upon.
He added the company wanted to be judgment free and as transparent as possible.
It was reported by online site SF Gate that the cyberattack was the third biggest breach affecting the university in a year and just goes to show the difficulty there is in protecting data at academic institutions.
Rivers said that part of the problem with protecting the institution is the fact that officials cannot close it if a major breach has taken place. He said that network security on the campus is not able to be treated like a tech company or bank.