An unknown number of hackers broke into UC Berkeley’s database and were able to access the personal and health information of over 160,000 students and former students. They’re still at large.
The target of the attack seems to have been the trove of social security numbers, around 97,000 of which were stolen. SSNs can be used to access bank accounts, open credit cards, and even have new driver’s licenses printed. The original hacking took place a month ago, from around April 6th to the 9th, and the university was only able to make their students (and former students; the accessed files go back to 1999) aware of the infiltration on the 21st.
FBI and other police have been notified and are investigating the crime, but we’re not aware of any leads. The break-in was only discovered thanks to a sort of “signature” left by one of the hackers, so they may be too sneaky to have left a trail that can be followed. Let’s hope they’re dumber than they appear. The school has set up a site (here) to update the public with more information as it comes in. [AP]