University of California Data Breached, Serious Security Incidents on the Rise

By Lawrence Walsh  |  Posted 2009-05-13 Print this article Print

Hackers penetrated the University of California, Berkeley student and alumni database, stealing the records of 160,000 individuals. The incident is the latest in a string of incidents that has some security experts calling for greater efforts in protecting data and critical networks.

The University of California at Berkeley is the latest organization to suffer a damaging data security breach. The increasing number of security breaches and incidents has some calling for greater effort and controls of systems containing sensitive data.

University officials revealed last week that hackers successfully breached the student and alumni records system, gaining access to identifying information of more than 160,000 individuals. The pilfered data included Social Security numbers, health insurance information and limited medical history such as immunization records.

A post-incident analysis of the breach discovered that the hackers gained access as early as last October. The breach was discovered last month when IT administrators took a server offline for routine maintenance, during which time they discovered a message left by the hackers.

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Lawrence Walsh Lawrence Walsh is editor of Baseline magazine, overseeing print and online editorial content and the strategic direction of the publication. He is also a regular columnist for Ziff Davis Enterprise's Channel Insider. Mr. Walsh is well versed in IT technology and issues, and he is an expert in IT security technologies and policies, managed services, business intelligence software and IT reseller channels. An award-winning journalist, Mr. Walsh has served as editor of CMP Technology's VARBusiness and GovernmentVAR magazines, and TechTarget's Information Security magazine. He has written hundreds of articles, analyses and commentaries on the development of reseller businesses, the IT marketplace and managed services, as well as information security policy, strategy and technology. Prior to his magazine career, Mr. Walsh was a newspaper editor and reporter, having held editorial positions at the Boston Globe, MetroWest Daily News, Brockton Enterprise and Community Newspaper Company.

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