The University of California was recently affected by a cybersecurity attack, the Sacramento Bee reports.
In late March, the university system alerted its community that it and others were affected by an attack targeting a file-transfer system from Accellion and that files from UC users appear to have been copied and transferred by an unauthorized person. According to the SacBee, the individual or group behind the attack has since sent emails to UC students and employees in an attempt to scare them into paying money to prevent the release of their personal data. In its statement, UC tells users who have received such a message to forward it to their IT security office or delete it.
The San Francisco Chronicle adds that Stanford University School of Medicine was also affected.
According to the San Francisco Business Times, Accellion is a cloud-based file-transfer system, and hackers began targeting flaws in its software in December. It notes that the company issued patches in December and January but that "by then the damage had been done, and it keeps getting worse."
Other universities, government agencies, and private companies were also affected, the SF Chronicle notes, including the University of Maryland, the University of Colorado, the University of Miami, and Yeshiva University.