The social security numbers and credit card details of up to 6,000 University of Connecticut students, faculty and others may have been stolen by cyber-hackersfrom China, the university said on Friday.
Officials detected a potential breach of the School of Engineering’s network in March and an investigation uncovered that hackers may have gained access to it as early as September, 2013, spokesman Tom Breen said.
He said 6,000 students, faculty, alumni and research partners of the school were notified that their personal information may have been compromised.
“The breach is far more extensive, could impact many more accounts and started much earlier than we originally believed,” said Breen. “There is no way at the present time to determine the exact number of accounts hacked,” he added.
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Breen said the hack has been traced to China “based on the type of cyber-attack that was launched, and the software used.” He added the FBI and several state agencies have been notified. The university said it was also taking steps to secure its systems.
Pennsylvania State University back in May said two cyber-attacks at its College of Engineering, including one in 2012 that originated in China, compromised servers containing information on about 18,000 people.
Penn State, a major developer of technology for the US Navy, said there was no evidence that research or personal data such as social security or credit card numbers had been stolen.
Cyber-security firm Mandiant has confirmed that at least one of the two attacks was carried out by a “threat actor” based in China, Penn State said.