On March 31, 2021, UC system announced that it affected by a data breach on Accellion’s File Transfer Appliance. Accellion’s File Transfer Appliance is a vendor service used for “transferring sensitive information.”
After the announcement of the data breach, many students reported their personal data were being sold on the dark web. The students say that the stolen information included their Social Security numbers, their email addresses, phone numbers and their home addresses.
Stett Holbrook, a spokesperson for UC office said that they were working with federal law enforcement and cybersecurity experts to investigate the data breach. According to Stett “In the meantime, we have notified the UC community and offered one year of complimentary credit monitoring and identity theft protection.”
One of the campus alumna Lauren Miller, said that her Social Security number, phone number, email address and home address were accessible on the dark web. Her parents data were also leaked because of the data breach.
Miller said that she found out about the breach through her bank and her sister, who is a law student at UCLA. According to Miller, the university has failed to contact other alumni and notify them.
According to Miller, “In the event that any sort of actual theft occurs … (the university should pay) for any ensuing litigation that students, alumni and other affiliates might need. If people can prove that the university is responsible for their data being stolen, I think that the university should pay the price.”
A campus lecturer in the department of electrical engineering and computer science, Nicholas Weaver, has created a service to find data stolen in the data breach. Weaver offered the service to his students, but he was informed he could not give students the service.
According to Holbrook, “The privacy of our community and the security of UC data are of paramount importance to the University, UC will continue to work with law enforcement and provide updates once we are able to disclose additional details of this ongoing investigation.”