Around 160,000 people may be affected by an attack on the University of California at Berkeley.
It was revealed on Friday by Computer World that hackers broke into restricted computer databases in the campus health-services centre.
A statement from the university claimed that attackers might have taken information related to health-insurance coverage and certain medical information, as well as the University Health Services medical-record number, dates of visits or names of healthcare providers seen, as well as information such as Social Security Numbers.
It said that Social Security Numbers are used as unique identifiers for students enrolled in the campus Student Health Insurance Plans. Administrators do not believe the hackers were able to steal extensive medical records, said to be stored on a different system.
The university believes the server breach began on 9th October last year and continued until 9th April, when administrators performing maintenance identified messages left by the hackers, whose attack was launched from overseas. The attackers accessed a public website and subsequently bypassed additional secured databases stored on the same server, the university contends.
Shelton Waggener, UC Berkeley's associate vice chancellor for information technology and CIO, said in the statement: “The university deeply regrets exposing our students and the Mills community to potential identity theft.”