hackerIf you’re the type of person who panics wildly in the face of small concerns like finals, infectious disease pandemics and having your personal information hijacked

by computer hackers, then you probably won’t relish what’s lurking in your CalMail inbox. Apparently UC Berkeley’s University Health Services isn’t the impenetrable data fortress we all naturally took it to be. An e-mail calmly notified 160,000 students and alumni this morning that their social security numbers and possibly those of their parents had been stolen, leaving them utterly vulnerable to identity theft.

Good to know, UC Berkeley. The criminal hackers broke into the UHS database some time between October and April. In addition to social security numbers, they gained access to information regarding health insurance coverage and non-treatment medical information. Campus police detectives and the FBI were both called upon to assist in investigation.

Representatives of the Health and Human Services department suggest a couple of precautionary measures to ward off identity theft: create a formal fraud alert on your consumer credit file, which will alert you of suspicious activity like the creation of new credit accounts, contact UC Berkeley’s Data Theft Hotline at 888-729-3301 with questions or torrential panic, and finally, trust no one (who’s not a legitimate UC Berkeley representative). We’ll all rest easy tonight.

Image Source: Ihl under Creative Commons.
UHS Data Breached by Hackers [Daily Cal]


Robbie B said:
May 8, 2009 at 11:19 pm

If I were the chancellor of UC Berkeley, I’d make sure all the security technicians at UHS got a promotion, because the heroes of bureaucracy are the inept.

And as they say, “If it’s broke, don’t fix it.”

april said:
May 9, 2009 at 5:33 pm

inflammatory comment.

no, but seriously, this is pretty damn uncool.