Security Experts:

University of California Confirms Personal Information Stolen in Cyberattack

The University of California (UC) this week confirmed that personal information was stolen in a cyberattack involving the Accellion File Transfer Appliance (FTA) service.

The incident, which took place in late December 2020, after a critical vulnerability was identified in the decades-old file sharing service, impacted tens of companies, government agencies, and universities.

UC initially confirmed impact from the incident in early April, after the operators of Clop ransomware, which orchestrated the attack on Accellion’s service, published on their Tor-based leaks website information allegedly stolen from the university and other entities.

This week, the university confirmed the attackers were indeed able to access a great deal of personal information pertaining to “employees (current and former) and their dependents, retirees and beneficiaries, and current students, as well as other individuals who participated in UC programs.”

The stolen information may include names and addresses, Social Security numbers, phone numbers, driver’s license and passport information, financial data (including bank routing and account numbers), birthdates, health and related benefit details, disability information, and other data.

The university, which also confirmed that some of the stolen information was posted online, says it is collaborating with the FBI on investigating the incident.

Furthermore, while it is notifying the affected individuals, the university is “working to identify the community members whose personal information was impacted and their contact information” and says it expects for the affected individuals to receive a notification within the next 45 to 60 days.

“We are also separately notifying individuals who started or completed applications for the 2021-22 school year whose contact information (name, email address and phone number) was impacted. Their notification will contain information pertinent to those individuals,” the university notes.

The data breach impacted the Accellion FTA only, with no other system affected. The university says it has already decommissioned the file sharing service, that it is transitioning to a more secure solution, and that it is taking steps to improve the overall security of its network.

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